KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/30 Sept) – The Department of Health (DOH) in Southwestern Mindanao (Region 12) is targeting 49,000 indigent families for the nationwide registration day for membership in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on Saturday.
Dr. Abdullah Dumama, DoH-12 director, said the figure was taken from the National Households Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), an anti-poverty mapping program which helps identify the poorest of the poor residents in an area.
The province of Sarangani, according to Felina Quinones of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12, registered the most number of indigent families in Region 12. Quinones, however, failed to cite the exact number.
On Saturday, PhilHealth will be setting up 13 registration sites across the region.
In North Cotabato, poor residents can apply for PhilHealth membership at the Kidapawan City Pilot Elementary School, M’lang Central Pilot Elementary School, Midsayap Central Pilot Elementary School in Midsayap and Makilala Pilot Elementary School.
There will also be registration sites in Koronadal City, General Santos City, Sarangani and Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat.
Dumama said they are targetting the indigent families as this was the mandate given to them by President Benigno Aquino III when he stressed in his inaugural address that he wants all Filipinos, most especially the poorest of the poor, to be PhilHealth card-bearing members in three years’ time, meaning, they will have access to health services.
“This is a marching order of the President… that in 2013, all Filipinos would be PhilHealth card-bearing members,” he said.
In a press conference held Wednesday at a hotel here, Dumama said local officials in the region have promised to mobilize their constituents to register as PhilHealth members this Saturday.
“To those who claimed to be among the poorest of the poor, I urged them to bring with them during the registration day a certification from the local DSWD office that they belong to such group, and present a valid ID,” said Dumama.
But the registration on Saturday is not only for indigents, according to Ramon Aristoza, PhilHealth regional director.
Aristoza has also urged the informal sector and families of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to register.
A monthly contribution of only P100 is all that is needed for PhilHealth membership, he said.
Other services that would be offered during the nationwide PhilHealth registration day are enrolment under the individually-paying program, issuance of cards to new and current members who wish to update their records, and continuation of membership for those with expiring and expired cards. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)