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PhilHealth Sabado II in Quezon and Pasay Cities August 1, 2011

"Heath is wealth". This saying is not only believed in by residents along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City and in Pasay City but they also live by it when they braved typhoon Falcon to join the PhilHealth Sabado II activity in their respective areas last June 25, 2011.

At the Commonwealth Elementary School in Quezon City , the opening of the registration for the informal sector began as soon as the video presentation on PhilHealth benefits and availment procedures started playing. The activity was led by Fairview Service Office Head Jose Sidfrey Panganiban and 30 other PhilHealth employees. With the support and participation of School Principal Rodolfo Modelo, representative of the Department of Health (DOH) Dr. Armin Lustre, and National Government Health Officer Dr. Xeres A. Sabarre together with PhilHealth Area Vice President for NCR and North Luzon Gregorio C. Rulloda, the joint undertaking was a success.

Technical glitches due to the heavy downpour did not prevent the inter-agency team assigned at the Commonwealth Elementary School from accommodating the 453 walk-in Individually Paying Members (IPMs) with a total collection of P 57,000 from IPMs premium contribution. Moreover, a total of 2,225 Sponsored Program members were also given their PhilHealth cards on that day covering the list given by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction prior to the activity.

Likewise, despite the flood in various areas in Pasay City, residents trooped to the Dr. Jose Antonio P. Roxas gymnasium of T. Paez Elementary School bringing with them the documentary requirements for membership application and a quarter's worth of premium to take advantage of the one-time nationwide registration. As in the Commonwealth site, the registration activity in Pasay City began with a basic orientation on PhilHealth where queries were answered and addressed by PhilHealth employees led by Makati Service Office Head Roman Balgomera and Adoracion Manuit. Also present were Pasay City Mayor Antonino G. Calixto, together with Rep. Imelda Calixto (Lone District of Pasay City), School Principal Avelita Mercado, Resty Cruz of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Barangay Health Officer Cesar Incenares, DOH representative Marilyn P. Ebuen and Cherry Lyn Capuno of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

At the end of the activity, the Pasay group registered a total of 75 IPM's with a collection of P27,300.00 and addressed 155 membership concerns. Prior to the activity, NHTS-PR endorsed a total of 6,083 families for enrollment to the Sponsored Program of PhilHealth. Their PhilHealth cards were distributed during the PhilHealth Sabado II activity.

Community residents near the Commonwealth and T. Paez Elementary Schools definitely took advantage of PhilHealth's presence in their areas last June 25 but more importantly, their attendance was a confirmation that more and more Filipinos now consider PhilHealth as a basic necessity rather than a luxury. (Kristine D. Besmonte, PAD)

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