Two years might be short, but for some especially those experiencing a crisis, those short years are a lifetime.
“Sa tulong na pinagkaloob ng Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) ay nadugtungan ang buhay ko (With DSWD’s assistance, my life was extended),” Edgardo Bauzon, 63, shared to officials and staff of DSWD during the Department’s flag raising ceremony on Tuesday. His wife, Fe, a retired Science teacher, also gave her testimony.
Edgardo is currently suffering from congestive heart failure which has led to chronic kidney failure. Edgardo had to undergo dialysis every two weeks and this proved to be a heavy burden to his family.
It was heaven-sent for the Bauzon Family when they received assistance from the DSWD through the Assistance for Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS).
From 2012 to date, Edgardo received assistance amounting to P33,000 to augment his medical treatment.
AICS is part of DSWD’s protective services for the poor. This has been implemented by the Department for over a decade now through the Crisis Intervention Unit (CIU), and it has been part of resource augmentation to local government units.
The assistance may be in the form of transportation, medical, burial, food and non-food, and educational.
As of August 31, some 102,981 clients have been assisted with more than P334 million already disbursed.
Edgardo was a hardworking family man until he was forced to stop working in 2006 after finding out he was sick.
A graduate of Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology, Edgardo first worked at various pharmaceutical companies in the Philippines before he decided to go to Japan in 1988 and explore other options.
In Japan, Edgardo worked as a demolition staff for a construction company for 18 years. He endured the long years without seeing his family just so to send his children to school and to save enough for their future.
True enough, Edgardo, with the able assistance of Fe, was able to buy land and build a house for his family.
However, in 2006, he started feeling sick and his Japanese employer advised him to go home to the Philippines and rest.
In September of 2006, he was rushed to the Philippine Heart Center when he suffered a cardiac arrest.
During his confinement, he was also diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and was transferred to the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) for a series of dialysis.
Fe shared that addressing Edgardo’s medical needs was the biggest challenge the family had faced. They eventually spent all their savings as Edgardo had to undergo dialysis twice a week.
In 2012, with their resources already depleted, Fe said she did not know what to do. She asked the doctor if Edgardo has a chance to survive. The doctor said that Edgardo was responding well with the treatment.
She, however, said, “Hindi na po namin kaya ang gastusin diyan (we can no longer handle the medical expenses).”
The doctor told her, “Tuturuan kita kung saan ka pupunta, pumunta ka sa DSWD Batasan (I will teach you where to go, seek help from DSWD Batasan).”
Edgardo added that he decided to transfer to another dialysis center because the cost of treatment in NKTI was high. A fellow patient at the dialysis center also advised him to go to DSWD Central Office to seek assistance.
She immediately prepared the requirements and true enough, Edgardo received P3,000 in medical assistance from DSWD in December 2012.
Six months after, he was given another P2,500, and a guarantee letter amounting to P5,000 after several months.
For her part, Fe said, “Nakakuha din po kami ng assistance sa ibang agency. Pangatlo po ang DSWD sa tumulong sa amin (we also sought help from other government agencies. DSWD is the third agency which helped us).”
Strong faith, thankful heart
Fe added, “We are thankful to DSWD for the assistance. The amount was minimal but this extended the life of Edgardo.”
“Nandito siya sa harap ninyo ngayon para magpasalamat kasi dinugtungan ng DSWD ang buhay niya (He is in front of you right now to thank you because you extended his life),” Fe told DSWD personnel.
“It is not the amount that matters but the years that were added to his life through the financial assistance,“ Fe emphasized.
Edgardo and Fe thanked God for the gift of life. According to them, DSWD became a channel of God in giving Edgardo a chance for longer life.
Edgardo said, “Sana marami pang matulungan ang DSWD na katulad ko (I hope DSWD continues to help many more needy individuals like me).”
Now, it has been two years of meaningful life, and Edgardo and Fe continue to count.
“Kaya nating lampasan ang pagsubok. Huwag tayong mangiming lumapit sa ating gobyerno dahil andiyan ito para sa atin (We can overcome our challenges. Do not hesitate to ask help from our government),” the couple enthused. ###