Binmaley Medicare Program
In its first week of assuming office, Binmaley's new government faced massive Hooding throughout the municipality. Twenty-eight out of the town’s 33 barangays were out of potable water; crops and animals were dying; and people were getting sick; particularly those from squatter communities. It took residents one to two hours just to get a pail of potable water. Malnutrition affected 17 percent of elementary school children and 11 percent of children below six years of age. The municipal government quickly brought key sectors together to discuss these urgent issues and discovered that most of these problems were interrelated.
In response, Binmaley launched a Nutrition, Food, Environment, and Medicare Program: a socio-economic and environmental program that makes the government present where it is needed most. There were four main intervention activities. First, children received nutritional supplements, dental care, day care, and other forms of assistance to keep them healthy and in school. Second, parents received health education and training in responsible parenthood and family planning, parents also received support for livelihood programs. Third, the environment for both children and parents are being improved through the control of flooding and the creation of more accessible sources of potable water. And fourth, medicare (in the form of two days of free care at the private hospital, paid for by the municipal government) is provided for any resident who was deemed indigent by a social worker.
The results have been encouraging, especially for the poorest of the poor. Flooded areas have been reduced by 80 percent since those days of mid-1992. This was done by diverting flood and dam overflows away from populated areas. Malnutrition has gone down by 4%. And 1,250 indigent patients have had their medical costs covered by the Medicare program.
This program is recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Programs in the 1994 Galing Pook Awards.