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PIA Press Release

1000 Basaynons get free Philhealth cards

Tacloban City (October 14) -- About one thousand indigent Basaynons were given free Philhealth cards through the Universal Family Health Insurance Program, Basey Mayor Wilfredo Estorninos who facilitated the distribution, informed.

The beneficiaries of the program are the indigent families of Barangay Tanods, Day Care Workers, disadvantaged women and men and solo parents from the 51 barangays of the municipality.

Mayor Estorninos said the Philhealth program is very beneficial since members and their beneficiaries receive substantial deductions in their hospital bills.

"What is good about this card is the fact that the dependents and beneficiaries of the cardholder can also avail of the deductions in hospital bills and other benefits," Mayor Estorninos said.

The coverage (for indigent families) includes free or subsidized hospitalization, including room fees, doctor's fees, medicines, and laboratory, x-ray and surgery fees.

"The distribution of Philhealth cards is meant to help the poor," he said. Mayor Estornino's administration is making every effort to strengthen its public health delivery system to make it more accessible to all Basaynons.

In 2005, President Arroyo signed Executive Order 276 as a way of helping the poor through social security and has earmarked a funding of P3-billion (last year) for the program to cover the enrollment and membership maintenance requirements for indigent families all over the country.

The President also ordered the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO); Department of Health, Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, Social Welfare and Development and the Interior and Local Government to assist all punong barangays in identifying qualified indigent families for enrollment into the program. Once identified, beneficiaries will be issued PhilHealth cards which have been paid for or subsidized by the local government units. The LGUs are to avail themselves of funding assistance from the P3-billion fund, half of which will come from the PCSO.

The program is part of the President's 10-point agenda (one of which is poverty alleviation) to improve the lives of the Filipinos. The President said these programs are necessary because many Filipinos do not have the money to pay for treatment and hospitalization, especially for down payment to hospitals that usually result in the patient not being accepted. (PIA 8) [top]

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