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PIA Press Release

More indigents benefit from free PhilHealth program

Manila (23 June) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led the distribution of a PhilHealth ID card to one of the indigent beneficiaries, held recently at Caloocan City, where at least 663 indigent families were given access to health insurance coverage under the sponsored program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

The ID distribution was part of the health project of Rep. Mary Mitzi Cajayon (2nd Dist., Caloocan). Cajayon promised to enroll 5,000 families in PhilHealth and allotted a total of P 3 million which will come from the President's Social Fund.

Republic Act No. 9421, signed and approved on February 10, 2004, stated that contribution for indigent members shall be subsidized partially by local government unit where the indigent member resides. PhilHealth shall provide counterpart financing equal to the LGU's subsidy for indigents. Provided, that in the case of fourth, fifth and sixth class LGU's, the national government shall provide up to ninety percent (90%) of subsidy for indigents for a period not exceeding five (5) years. The share of the LGUs shall be progressively increased until such time that its share becomes equal to that of the national government.

President Arroyo chose not to deliver her speech and instead ask a recipient of the health insurance coverage what she can say about having the card, Evette Marie Hedreyda, a resident, said that "napakalaking tulong ito sa mga pamilya."

The President stressed that their PhilHealth coverage is good for one year only and appealed to the recipients to continue by paying for the succeeding years for only P1,200 per year saying "ito ay pauna lamang, pero para sa may kaya, sana kayo ay magtuloy ng pagbabayad upang makatulong naman sa iba".

Rodolfo M. Balog, PhilHealth vice president for NCR, informed the recipients that once confined in a government hospital, they can already avail themselves of quality health insurance coverage without paying a single centavo.

In Negros Occidental, close to 20,000 Negrenses provincewide are enrolled in the program with a one year coverage starting January to December 2009. It also covers the cardholder's wife and children 21 years old and below, including parents 60 years old and above.

In an allocation of P15 million, the program is solely funded by the provincial govertment.

Four month-old Regine Deniega of Brgy. Man-uling, Cauayan, Negros Occidental, is set to undergo an operation for her kidney tumor at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City. This was made possible through Neg. Occ. Governor Isidro Zayco's Provincial PhilHealth Indigency program which was availed by Regine's father, Fidel, a farmer, who was enrolled in the program which covers her medicine, laboratory and operation fees.

Indeed, more and more indigent families all over the country benefitted from the government's health insurance coverage under the program of the Philippine Health Insurance or PhilHealth. (PIA/cad) [top]

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