Lobregat calls on all LGUs to oppose new Philhealth policy PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 17 December 2011 16:43

Mayor Celso Lobregat has called on other local government units in the country to join in the effort to seek reconsideration of the new Philhealth sponsorship policy that is set to take effect starting January 2012 nationwide.

“We are calling also on other cities and local government units to espouse this issue with the Philhealth because this policy will not only affect Zamboanga City but the entire country”, Mayor Lobregat said the other day as he joined beneficiaries of the city government-sponsored Philhealth program in marching the street to protest the new policy.

At least 20,000 of the over 25,000 Philhealth beneficiaries of the city government-sponsored Philhealth program are expected to  lose their benefits when the new policy that makes only those included in the list yielded from the National Housing Targeting System (NHTS) survey (done in relation to the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps), as eligible for the Philhealth sponsorship program starting 2012.

Accordingly, only a little over 5,000 of the present beneficiaries are included in the NHTS list and the 4Ps program of the national government.
Under the present program, each beneficiary is entitled to a one-year PhilHealth insurance for P1,200, of which the local government unit shoulders the P600 while the national government shoulders the remaining P600.

The sectors and number of beneficiaries of the Philhealth sponsored program in the city are the following: barangay indigents- 17, 308; Rural Improvement Club (RIC)-1, 471; urban poor groups- 3,478; Senior Citizens- 1,190; former barangay officials- 728; Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)- 498; Trained hilots- 103; TB Task Force – 68; Deportees- 35; Child Care workers- 23; Day Care Workers (DCW)- 90; Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS)- 42; Retired Barangay Health Workers- 10; Press Club members- 35; Job Orders- 80 and other sectors- 563 for a total of 25,722.

The different sectors have written President Aquino asking for reconsideration of the policy. On Thursday, Dec. 15, they initiated a march protest to express their sentiments over the new policy.

Mayor Lobregat said the sectors included in the city sponsored health insurance program specifically the barangay tanods, officials, volunteers, health workers, nutrition scholars and others are in the forefront in the barangays. “Unfortunately, they are not considered as poor and not included in the NHTS list and in the 4Ps program”.

He stressed that the philhealth program, which used to be a partnership between the local government and the national government is some sort of a pillar where the different sectors can lean on to in cases of illnesses or diseases.

Lobregat was able to talk to the president of the League of Governors through Cong. Beng Climaco Thursday morning and the latter has promised to espouse the
League’s sentiments to the PHILHEALTH and other agencies concerned. — Sheila Covarrubias