MANILA, April 20—Alarmed over the killing of another volunteer doctor within two months, a Senator on Thursday urged her colleagues in the Senate to look into the killings of doctors deployed in rural areas.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros said she is set to file a resolution seeking a probe into the killings of volunteer physicians and medical personnel.
This after volunteer doctor Sajid “Jaja” Sinolinding, a physician who served in Cotabato City, was reportedly gunned down by unidentified assailants while on-duty in his clinic on Tuesday.
Last March 4, doctor Dreyfuss Perlas, a fellow volunteer doctor was killed in Sapad, Lanao del Norte.
Hontiveros urged law enforcement authorities to conduct a full-scale investigation on the incident noting that such incidents deprived communities of their access to public health with the already small number of volunteer doctors.
Citing data from the Department of Health (DOH), Hontiveros said that in 2016, only 320 of the 946 slots were filled in the Doctors to the Barrios program.
“Konti na nga lang ang mga nagboboluntaryong doktor sa mga baryo, pinapaslang pa. Nakakalungkot dahil sa bawat volunteer doctor na pinapatay, isang bukaspalad na tao ang inaagawan ng buhay, at isang komunidad ang pinagkakaitan ng serbisyong medikal,” Hontiveros said.
(“There are only a few volunteer doctors in barrios and they are being killed. It is saddening because for every volunteer doctor killed, one whole community is deprived of medical service.”)
Sinolinding was the younger brother of DOH-Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Secretary Kadil Sinolinding, Jr.