THE Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) recently took part in this year's ARTA Caravan, held at the Palma Hall, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City.
With this year's theme “#Kontra Red Tape: Kabataan, Kaakibat sa Mahusay na Pamamahala,” the said event, spearheaded by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) in partnership with the United Nations Development Program aims to engage the students in improving public service delivery by increasing awareness on the anti-red tape campaign and on the citizens’ rights and responsibilities as clients or consumers of government services.
The caravan also serves as a one-stop information exhibit, and a venue for the students to avail themselves of the services of the participating government agencies. Students from UP Diliman as well as other colleges and universities in Metro Manila participated in the event.
Addressing the youth during the caravan’s launching ceremony, CSC Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala said that “it is within your right to demand value for money for the taxes that your parents pay, to have access to quality education, health, justice, and better public service delivery.” She also urged them “to be an active participants in reducing the gap between the actual and the ideal quality of public service delivery.”
A team from PhilHealth’s Regional Office-National Capital Region led by Regional Vice President Dennis Mas, was one of the earliest exhibitors to set up at the venue. PhilHealth’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Ramon Aristoza Jr. was also present to provide moral support to the PhilHealth team. An information desk was set up and queries from both members and non-members were attended to. The team also provided online services such as ID printing and generation of member data records (MDRs).
On the other hand, the “Best Booth Award” among all participating agencies was garnered by PhilHealth’s booth which was interactive, showing innovations and showcasing ARTA provisions such as the Citizen’s Charter poster, Contact Center ng Bayan poster, Agency name, step-by-step procedures, among others.
Oscar Gomez, Guidance Counsellor of UP-Diliman, and one of the visitors of the PhilHealth booth was very thankful for the warm accommodation of the NCR staff. “Napaka-senior friendly ng mga staff,” he said, adding that “natutuwa ako at mayroong ganitong caravan dahil hindi na ako mahihirapang pumunta pa sa iba’t-ibang opisina dahil inaayos ko ang mga papeles ko at malapit na akong magretire.” He is a prospective member for the Lifetime Program of PhilHealth.
Venus Samonte, wife of one of the policemen stationed in the caravan venue, also visited the PhilHealth booth. She said that she was a former member of PhilHealth but discontinued paying her contribution when she stopped working. She wants to continue her contribution to the state-run agency because she believes that PhilHealth is such a big help in times of need. “Kung sakaling maospital, malaki ang naibabawas sa hospital bill dahil sa PhilHealth.”
Other participating government agencies in the activity are the Commission on Higher Education, Department of Trade and Industry, Government Service Insurance System, Land Bank of the Philippines, Land Transportation Office, Philippine Statistics Authority, Social Security System, Pag-IBIG Fund, National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Labor and Employment, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, University of the Philippines, Department of Foreign Affairs and the CSC’s UP Field Office.
Aside from offering key frontline services, the ARTA Caravan also features “Talastasan sa Diliman” between the students and CSC Chairperson Bala. This is an integrity sessions facilitated by Bantay.ph, and good governance practices forum by the UP Diliman University Student Council and UP Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants.
Representatives from the GSIS, LBP, SSS, Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), and PhilHealth, were also given five minutes each to talk about their programs and services.
Logo/poster making and Audio Visual Presentation contests for all participating universities and colleges nationwide were also undertaken. One winner will be selected for each contest from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Winners of the logo-making and poster-making contests will each receive PHP7,000 cash prize, while the winners of the AVP contest will receive PHP10,000 cash prize. In addition to the cash prizes, winners will also receive plaques and tokens for participation. The winners of the ARTA logo and poster making, and short video production contests will be awarded on February 25 of this year.
The second and third parts of the ARTA Caravan will be at Leyte Normal University in Tacloban City on February 2 and Mindanao University of Science and Technology in Cagayan de Oro City on February 10. (Emy M. Retuta)