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PIA Press Release

Philhealth to release health cards to 46,000 indigents

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (24 September) -- About 46,000 poor individuals in Region XI are urged to register on October 2 as the national government makes it as "Philhealth Sabado".

It is during this day that poor families identified by the Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD) through the National Household Targeting System-Proxy Means Test will be given Philhealth cards with a free premium payment good for one year.

All qualified "true indigent" Filipinos nationwide will be registered and their annual premiums will be shouldered by national or local government and other sponsors to pay in behalf of the LGUs.

The registration is also open to existing contributors who have no cards and can't update and check their record in Philhealth.

Filbert Bryan Sollesta of the Philhealth XI announced 13 centers in the region; one for each province and nine centers for Davao City.

Universal health care is the administration centerpiece of President Benigno Aquino III. PNoy ensured the Filipinos in his first State of the Nation Address that plan for improving Philheath can now be within reach.

The President hopes to raise an estimated P9 billion annually to provide health care coverage for 5 million poor Filipinos. The DSWD identified 4.1 million Filipinos as "true indigents" who desperately need access to quality healthcare.

The administration admitted that they are still looking for sources to subsidize annual premiums of the true indigents. What the DOH is eyeing for as a source for the subsidy is the implementation of the excise tax law on tobacco and alcohol, subject to adjustment every two years from 2005 to 2011. (PIA XI) [top]

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