Lobregat bares temporary solution to Philhealth woes PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 17:14

Mayor Celso Lobregat and officials from the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Philhealth Insurance Corporation have reached a temporary solution to the problem besetting Philhealth beneficiaries in Zamboanga following the implementation of the new sponsorship policy.

The chief executive Monday noon convened a meeting of all concerned agencies to discuss transitory measures to ensure that beneficiaries of the city government-sponsored Philhealth program can avail of continuous coverage despite the new sponsorship policy that took effect nationwide effective January 1, 2012.

Present during the meeting were Health Regional Director Dr. Aristedes Tan, Social Welfare and Development Regional Director Teodulo Romo, representatives from the Philhealth regional office, Councilor Lilia Nuño (Chairperson of the Council Committee on Health), City Health Officer Dr. Rodel
Agbulos and City Social Welfare and Development Officer Francisco Barredo.

The new sponsorship policy allows 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 by the DSWD), as eligible for the Philhealth sponsorship program starting 2012.  Of the almost 30,000 beneficiaries of the city government’s Philhealth program, only 5,000 were included in the list.

Because of protest actions conducted by 20,000 affected beneficiaries last December, the DSWD is in the process of validating and scrutinizing records if the affected beneficiaries can be included in the list.

Mayor Lobregat said initially, out of the 8,000 beneficiaries (of the 20,000) validated by the DSWD regional office, 5,000 more were added to the list, for a total of 10,000 beneficiaries now assured of continuous health insurance privileges under the new sponsorship policy.

The other names are still being validated and the DSWD requires more time for the validation process. And while the validation of more names is ongoing, Mayor Lobregat said the city government is willing to pay for the contribution of beneficiaries not yet validated for a period of 6 months.

“And within that time frame, hopefully, we can settle this issue”, the mayor said adding that the Philhealth has also agreed that while the validation process is ongoing, anybody (among those being validated) who gets sick will be given temporary coverage.

Under the government sponsored Philhealth 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.

Based on records from the City Social Welfare and Development Office, 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.

“A temporary solution to the problem has to be implemented because we do not want that our constituents who are under the city government sponsored Philhealth program will be deprived of the benefits”, the mayor stressed. — Sheila Covarrubias