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PIA Press Release
2008/08/21

PHINO assures Negrenses of affordable health insurance

by Jennifer Catan-Tilos

Dumaguete City (21 August) -- Indigent families in the province are assured of an affordable health insurance program through the Provincial Health Insurance of Negros Oriental (PHINO) which addresses the high cost of medical treatment and healthcare.

While this developed, PHINO is backed up by a provincial ordinance not only as legal basis but showed a strong support by the provincial legislators.

In its launching and health covenant signing with local chief executives early this week, Vice-Governor Jose "Petit" Baldado emphasized that this ordinance can not be influenced by politics but this provide equal access and quality health services to all.

PHINO prime mover, Dr. Ely Villapando stressed the need for a commitment and shared its counterparts from local government units to provide access and quality health care services of poor families of which the provincial government will offer P15 Million; city/municipal governments for P600. per registered indigent at the start of the enrollment year as initial seed fund.

While the three (3) Congressional Districts will provide P5 Million per congressional district from PDAF as counterpart funds for its indigency program, and be utilized for the provision of quality drugs for hospitals/Rural Health Units in their respective districts.

Whereas, Negros Oriental Governor Emilio Macias II has strongly pushed local health insurance in the province rather than being dependent on the Philippine Health Insurance.

The governor pointed out that special attention would be placed on the establishment of health insurance, which is designed to have all indigent patients in the province covered by free hospitalization services.

Governor Macias chided the existing Philhealth, saying that benefits covered are very insufficient, and delayed processing of reimbursement of claims.

This PHINO builds on existing community health organizations as its existing District Health System/Inter-Local Health Zones for its organization and human resource requirement.

For now, thousands of poor Filipino families living in the squalor of informal settlements outside Metro Manila can now expect a better life ahead as government plans to invest more than PhP1.7 billion in housing services for the urban poor through one of its primary financial institutions to boost President Arroyo's social reform program, the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) announced recently.

NAPC Secretary Domingo F. Panganiban said the Arroyo government plans to expand public housing services for the urban poor over the 2004-2010 period through the Development of Poor Urban Communities Sector Project (DPUCSP) of Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

"This DBP project was designed to improve living conditions in communities of the urban poor by providing financial assistance to qualified institutions and urban poor communities for site development, home improvement, livelihood endeavors and shelter finance services for poor urban households," he said. (PIA) [top]

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