Celso seeks consideration of PhilHealth sponsorship PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 02 September 2011 15:28

Mayor Celso Lobregat has sought reconsideration from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Health (DOH) on the new PhilHealth sponsorship policy involving the local government units nationwide.

This developed, as health insurance coverage of thousands of current beneficiaries of the city government’s Philhealth program particularly the senior citizens, persons with disabilities, barangay officials, barangay tanods, rural improvement clubs including members of the media and cooperatives and other sectors are expected to end by December 31 this year if and when the new policy will be implemented starting first day of 2012.

Mayor Lobregat said based on the new policy by the DILG, DOH and the Philhealth, only those included in the list yielded from the National Housing Targetting System (NHTS) survey will be included in the Philhealth sponsorship program.

The NHTS survey was done in 2009 purposely to identify the poorest of the poor and the DOH, DILG and Philhealth are set to use the NHTS list in the national sponsorship program starting 2012.

“We are asking what will happen to all these people that have been receiving the  health insurance benefits like the senior citizens, barangay officials, persons with disabilities, members of Rural Improvement Club, members of the media and other sectors if the new policy will be implemented”, the mayor lamented stressing that he has written Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Health Secretary Enrique Ona and Philhealth president and chief executive Officer Dr. Rey Aquino regarding the matter.

The mayor said the present system should be maintained as the city government has been providing Philhealth insurance program to the different sectors not only the indigent groups since the year 2000 that prompted the PHILHEALTH to declare Zamboanga City as a “Universal Coverage” area.

“Just because the senior citizens, persons with disabilities, barangay tanods, barangay officials and other sectors are not included in the NHTS list, they will not be included in the program?”, the mayor asked as he lamented that even the NHTS list of supposed poorest of the poor sector is being questioned.

He said the city government has been sponsoring the PhilHealth insurance of the city’s indigent sectors now totaling more than 30,000 beneficiaries, and will
continue to do so because funds for the purpose had already been allocated in the annual budget.

However, he said he is still waiting for the approval of his request for consideration before the city government could continue its PhilHealth sponsored program.
Under the program, each beneficiary is entitled to one-year PhilHealth insurance for P1,200, of which the local government unit shoulders the P600 while the national government shoulders the remaining P600.

Meanwhile, the mayor renewed yesterday the PhilHealth insurance of 2,310 beneficiaries covering indigents and other sectors. Their insurance coverage will expire Dec. 31. 2011.

Of the total renewals, 974 were indigents, 498 members of the Rural Improvement Club, 480 former barangay officials, 35 members of the local media, 67 militiamen, 175 senior citizens, 46 MDG Face members and 33 Persons with Disabilities. — Vic Larato