STA. ANA, CAGAYAN– Residents complain of the scarcity of medical supplies at the community hospital here that allegedly has an annual allocation of P400,000 from the local government unit.

A resident, Rafael Liquigan, said the last time he went to the hospital with his father for a check-up, he saw for himself that the hospital lacks medicines, cotton buds, betadine and even office supplies like ball pens and bond paper.

Liquigan, a former overseas contract worker, manages the website “Santa Ana, Cagayan Kontra Korap na Opisyal at Mga Maninira nga Kalikasan.”

“Most of the patients of the hospital are poor people. They are given prescriptions but they have to buy the medicines outside; and they definitely could not afford the cost,’ he said.

At that time, most of the patients were afflicted with dengue and they numbered at least 100 people par day, according to Liquigan.

Another resident who refused to be identified, claimed that boxes of medicines addressed to a high-ranking official usually arrive at a local drugstore, where these medicines, marked “government property, not for sale” are sold.

“The question is why are these medicines being displayed and sold at the drugstore?” she asked.

She also disclosed that the owner of the drugstore was a relative of said official. Also, she said, medicines were available at no cost at the municipal hall and at the municipal community hospital, but these places are “always in short supply” (of medicines.)

A certain Gemalyn Yadao told Northbound that she could not understand why the local Rural Health Unit gives out prescriptions to patients but are sent to the municipal hall to get the free medicines. “Why not at the RHU office itself where there are medical officials?” she said in Ilokano, referring to the medicines.

A concerned citizen also posted on the website a photo of a box of medicines addressed to “LGU” in bold letters and the name of the high-ranking official in small letters at the bottom.

It was understood that with the marking as “government property,” on the medicines, the boxes came from the Department of Health in Manila.

Sta. Ana, a second class municipality at the eastern tip of Cagayan, is a major component of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone. The town receives some P60-million in taxes from the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, a government agency, that manages the CSEZ. GUERRERO COLOMA