The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently announced the guidelines on the availment of Libreng Gamot para sa Masa (Lingap sa Masa): A medicine assistance program of the Office of the President.

“Pres. Duterte has allocated P1 billion for medicine assistance to indigent patients to be sourced from the socio-civic projects fund of the Office of the President. This medicine assistance fund will be disbursed under a program which will now be known as Libreng Gamot Para sa Masa or Lingap sa Masa. The DSWD has been tasked by the president to manage and implement it,” said DSWD Sec. Judy M. Taguiwalo.

Under the guidelines which have been recently released through DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 02, Lingap sa Masa will be implemented by establishing desks at identified hospitals where patients who need prescription medicines will be assessed and provided assistance via the issuance of guarantee letters for the purchase of medicines from hospital pharmacies or from partner drug stores. 

Lingap sa Masa will be program distinct and separate from the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS). The DSWD’s Protective Services Bureau (PSB) under the department’s Protective Services Program will be the lead implementing office. 

MOA with Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center

Yesterday, DSWD Field Office VII signed a memorandum of agreement with the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) during the FO’s local celebrations of the DSWD’s 66th Anniversary. 

The memorandum provides the details of the partnership/agreement between the DSWD and the VSMMC wherein the VSMMC will work with the DSWD to implement the Lingap sa Masa program.

The MOA was signed by Field Office VII Director IV Ma. Evelyn B. Macapobre and VSMMC Medical Center Chief II Gerardo M. Aquino Jr. 

“We are glad that this MOA has been signed with the VSMMC. With this, we will be able to help with the immediate medicine needs of indigent Filipinos in Region VII. This is a very good development and we hope that eventually, we can forge similar agreements and partnerships with other hospitals,” said Sec. Taguiwalo.

Target beneficiaries

Indigent Filipinos who are either confined in or receiving out-patient treatment from identified hospitals and who are in need of prescription medicines are the beneficiaries of Lingap sa Masa. Priority, however, will be given to the following:

1.       Families or individuals who are indigent, vulnerable, or disadvantaged;

2.       Those in the informal sector and poor based on the DSWD Listahanan;

3.       Those who are in crisis situations based on the assessment of social workers;

4.       Government employees and contract of service workers working in the government; and

5.       Beneficiaries of soldiers and police who were killed or wounded in the line of duty.

Sec. Taguiwalo clarified that the program does not cover prescription medicines for drug dependents undergoing treatment or rehabilitation which will be covered by a separate program for that purpose. 


Those who want to avail of the program should provide a valid ID. If the patient has a representative, the representative should present a valid ID and a written authorization signed by the patient in favor of the representative. Another important requirement is the doctor’s prescription which should have been issued within the last three (3) months. This should indicate the date and the name of the patient, and the document should be signed by the attending physician, with his/her license number and contact details.

“A proof of indigence should also be presented, but this proof is not limited to Barangay Certificate of Indigence or Certification issued by the medical social service of an identified hospital. In this program, the doctor issuing the prescription can also issue a certification that the patient is indigent and is qualified for the program,” said Sec. Taguiwalo. 

Certified true copies must be certified by either the DSWD social worker assigned to the hospital; the office that issued the document; or the officer who assigned the document.

“Like the DSWD’s AICS services, beneficiaries of Lingap sa Masa can access the program every month, unless supported by justification based on need, urgency, and other factors as may be determined and approved by the DSWD social worker. Those who have received medicine assistance for the same purpose under the AICs will not be eligible for the program and vice-versa,” explained Sec. Taguiwalo. #