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PIA Press Release
2009/02/09

Zambo Norte provincial health office to receive P25-M WB grant

Dipolog City (9 February) -- The Provincial health Office of Zamboanga del Norte has formally submitted to the World Bank (WB) the different programs which would improve the health access of the indigenous people to the health facilities in the province.

Provincial Health Office Carmencita P. Icao disclosed that her office has worked on the registration of the Subanens within Sindangan, Leon Postigo and Siayan municipalities.

Dr. Icao disclosed further that 70 percent of the people living in those municipalities are natives who found it difficult to avail of the health services in the different health facilities in the province.

The provincial health officer pointed out sadly the experience of some Subanens who were enrolled in Philhealth whose claims after they were hospitalized could not be paid because they lacked the needed requirements like the marriage registration, birth registration of their children with the Civil Registrar's Office.

It was learned that most marriages among them were solemnized by their own tribal leaders as their tradition and culture directed them.

However, Dr. Icao said these tribal leaders were not licensed by the National Statistics Office (NSO), thus the marriages they had solemnized were not registered with the Civil Registrar's Office of each municipality.

"This is what the provincial governor wanted to correct to straighten out their records," Icao stressed.

The Subanens who are mostly living in the far-flung barangays are often afflicted with dysentery and other diseases due to poor sanitation. So, Dr. icao Icao proposed to the WB the use of bio-sand filter for their water since "the people do not like the use of chlorinated water."

Moreover, the provincial health office also pushed for the use of special toilet bowls to adapt to the native's traditional way of toilet use. (PF-PIA-ZN) [top]

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