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PhilHealth Initiates Marketing Activity in Singapore March 22, 2011

THIS weekend, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Singapore will have the chance to reactivate or update their membership records, or sign up as new members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), as the government agency undertakes its first-ever marketing activity in the Lion City.

"The coming weekend will be full-packed with activities for our kababayans in Singapore who wish to know more about their PhilHealth coverage," said Dr. Rey B. Aquino, PhilHealth President and CEO. "We initiated this activity to reach out to them so that they will have peace of mind, come medical necessities."

Singapore plays host to around 177,000 Filipinos working in various industries in the country. It is among the top ten destinations of OFWs and ranks sixth among the top eight sources of overseas Filipinos' remittances made through banks at the start of 2011.

The marketing event starts with a meeting with heads of about 72 Filipino organizations at the Philippine Embassy on Saturday, visits to some hospitals and a Press Conference at O'Learys Grill and Restaurant. On Sunday, there will be a general assembly of OFWs, also at O'Learys Grill and Restaurant, as well as visits to some Singaporean companies employing Filipino workers, and to accredited remittance centers.

"We are calling on OFWs in Singapore to take time out to see us this coming weekend so we can personally attend to your PhilHealth concerns," Aquino said. Among the frontline services that OFWs may avail themselves of are updating of their member data records to ensure that their legal dependents are included; reactivation of their membership; or signing up as new members if they are not yet covered by PhilHealth.

Annual premium of OFWs is P900.00 and they can pay the equivalent amount in Singapore dollars through PhilHealth-Accredited Collecting Agents such as iRemit and the foreign tie-up of Philippine Veterans Bank, BTI Courier Express.

In 2005, PhilHealth opened its doors to OFWs when the former Medicare program for OFWs was turned over by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). Through the Overseas Workers Program (OWP), PhilHealth was able to register more OFWs. Today, there are about two million land-based OFWs currently listed in the PhilHealth database. (Moppet B. Varlez, PAD)

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