Enrolment of poor families under the National Health Insurance Program is the core of PhilHealth’s purpose of being. It magnifies the government’s genuine intent of empowering the poor and the marginalized sector of society by providing them with a “life support” to sustain life and ultimately ascend from the painful and wrenching experience brought about by extreme poverty – through social protection interventions.
PhilHealth Regional Office VI, in its desire to make health care services felt by the members, especially those residing in a Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Area, recently visited the Municipality of Caluya and its four Island Barangays in the province of Antique.
The PRO 6 Team took a two-hour land trip to San Jose de Buenavista, capital town of Antique, followed by a grueling four-hour ride to Libertad port. From Libertad, the Team took another four-hour boat ride going to Caluya Municipality to conduct the AlaGa Ka or Alamin at Gamitin, Benepisyong PhilHealth campaign. Caluya municipality is situated at the northernmost tip of Antique.
The campaign, aimed at empowering members and dependents on PhilHealth programs, services and benefits the state-insurance is providing, has not simply embedded knowledge and understanding but has created a deep sense of appreciation from the members, that indeed PhilHealth is their partner in health.
“It’s rare that we see government people visit our Island, and we are sincerely delighted that PhilHealth personnel are here to orient us on our benefits as PhilHealth members,” said Florence E. Farol, a resident of Brgy Harigue, Caluya.
She gratefully recalls the time when she gave birth to her baby boy and was told by her husband that they need not pay anything for her hospitalization. “All expenses for my delivery were shouldered by PhilHealth,” she said.
Farol is one of the 2,418 indigent members who participated in the AlaGa Ka activity and has received her updated Member Data Record (MDR) as proof of her family’s coverage under the Indigent Program of PhilHealth.
During the week-long travel to Caluya Island as well as in some minor islets of Liwagao, Panagatan, Sibato and Sibolo, personnel of PhilHealth Regional Office 6 and Local Health Insurance Office in Antique had a tiring yet fulfilling travel.
"I know that your experience, no matter how arduous your travel was, has made you not only true public servants but far better persons for your genuine service has made a difference to the lives of the people in the Island," said Lourdes F. Diocson, PhilHealth Regional Head in Western Visayas as she commends the group for a selfless job well-done. (END) (Janimhe Cam-Jalbuna)