Low turnout of recipients in PhilHealth card distribution in Southern Mindanao

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 October) – Less than 200 of the 46,000 PhilHealth beneficiaries who were identified as the poorest of the poor in Southern Mindanao came to claim their health cards over the weekend.

Filbert Bryan Sollesta, PhilHealth division chief IV, said only 172 of the indigents already listed in the national household targeting system have come to claim their cards during the Philhealth’s registration campaign on Saturday, October 2.

”Only a few came but that doesn’t mean they are not interested,” Sollesta said.

The 46,000 indigents identified in the region is part of the 800,000 poorest of the poor who can avail of the free health cards from the government.

Sollesta said the targeted beneficiaries of the government’s free health card program either missed the announcement or did not have enough money to come to claim their cards.

He said Philhealth will turn over the distribution of the free health cards to the Department of Health (DOH).

The Aquino administration has earlier targeted to make the country’s health insurance system accessible to all Filipinos in the next three years.

But Sollesta said politicians remain a major source of free health card distribution to the country’s poorest during election times.

”I don’t know if the President would still want to continue the program once the coverage will lapse after a year,” he said.

Philhealth registered a total of 4,387 new members and collected P410,000 worth of receipts during last Saturday’s registration campaign. (Germelina Lacorte/Mindanews)