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GMANEWS.TV features PhilHealth in 'On Call's' Serbisyong Totoo Caravan May 30, 2011

It was not an ordinary Friday for residents of Barangay Payatas in Quezon City as PhilHealth made a comeback for an onsite information and service desk through the efforts of GMA News TV's reformatted 'On Call' program.

For the second time in less than a year, Payatas has benefited from this community service that aims to give town folks easy access to PhilHealth's various services which will usually take them kilometers and a few pesos before they can avail of these. The last community service in Payatas was in October last year during the nationwide registration campaign dubbed PhilHealth Sabado.

Distance as well as several economic opportunity losses due to travel to and from the nearest service office in downtown Quezon City seemed to prevent residents from meeting higher obligations such as paying health insurance premiums and updating membership profiles with PhilHealth.

During the event, some 200 residents excitedly trooped to the Narra Covered Court to seize the opportunity to talk face-to-face with PhilHealth personnel, to ask questions and be enlightened on a lot of concerns, from who else can benefit from their coverage and what their entitlements are, to how they may be able to continue paying premiums conveniently.

Aside from the usual exchange of questions and answers and handing out of reading materials, the service desk also processed applications of about 50 new individually paying members or IPMs who were readily provided with their PhilHealth Cards and Member Data Records.

An online over-the-counter premium payment system was also set up which enabled both existing and new IPMs to pay their contributions in a breeze. No less than On Call host Connie Sison availed of the payment service with her driver Renato whose IPP coverage she sponsored.

On Call segment producer Ross Timbad also paid her premiums onsite upon learning of the payment window. She said she will enlist her mother in the IPP and plans to drop by the Quezon City Service Office in Quezon Avenue soon to submit her registration documents.

What made the event more special is that it was made possible through the efforts of GMA News TV's On Call which recently moved to its new timeslot at 1:00 p.m. following news program Balintanghali. The program has chosen PhilHealth for its Serbisyong Totoo Caravan feature as part of the program's re-launch as a public service assistance program.

Sison and her TV crew personally checked out the event and expressed surprise over the response of residents who were already lining up to register and pay their contributions. On-cam, she went on to discover the simple steps to secure the family's health through PhilHealth insurance. She also thanked the residents for the warm welcome they afforded On Call and PhilHealth.

At the close of the day-long event, senior social insurance officer Sidfrey Panganiban reported a total collection of P20,400 in premium contributions from new and existing members in the area, an indication of the citizen's growing confidence in PhilHealth as a program and administrator of their health insurance fund.

"People do not really find it hard to shell out their hard-earned money once they fully understand what it is for, and that is for their family's health," Panganiban said in Filipino.

The event was jointly spearheaded by the PhilHealth Fairview Service Office and the Public Affairs Department in cooperation with Payatas' Barangay Council chaired by Rosario Dadulo and On Call which airs weekdays at 1:00p.m., hosted by Ivan Mayrina and Connie Sison. (Rey Balena and Juanito G. Pineda PAD)

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