“I tirelessly remind my fellow senior citizens that we are beneficiaries of PhilHealth.”
This is the advocacy of Elpidio D. Azuelo, Jr., President of the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) of Iloilo City.
Lolo Elpidio can still recall the joy their federation felt when Republic Act 10645 which provided for the mandatory PhilHealth coverage of all Filipino Senior Citizens was passed. It was a big help for them because at their age, they often avail themselves of medical assistance and check-up, and being PhilHealth members made them enjoy the benefits with less or no expenses at all.
“We highly recognize the role of our elders. They have done so much for us and for this country to put us where we are now. With grateful hearts we give back to them by providing affordable and accessible health care services and financial risk protection,” said Lourdes F. Diocson, PhilHealth VI Regional Vice President.
PhilHealth, together with other government agencies like the Departments of Health (DOH) and Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), have been working hand-in-hand with the Local Government Units (LGUs) and their respective OSCAs in recognizing the privileges and welfare of the elderly.
“Our office (OSCA) has become more organized because of PhilHealth programs. Our Senior Citizens are eager to know their benefits and actively participated in all activities. That is why we are very thankful to PhilHealth because not only did it provide so much health safeguards and assistance to us but it also drew the presence of the Senior Citizens to our federation,” said Lolo Elpidio.
He added that many senior citizens were surprised to know that they are automatically covered by PhilHealth. A lot of them were able to utilize their benefits for inpatient and outpatient services such as Cataract Extraction which is very common among their age group.
Apart from the 12 percent exemption from value added tax and 20 percent senior citizen’s discount, Lifetime and Senior Citizen members are also entitled of inpatient and outpatient benefits, Z Benefit packages for catastrophic cases and the application of the No Balance Billing (NBB) policy.
“As a father, a grandfather, and an elder of this society, I value my role in continuously advocating for the health security of my family and fellowmen. Even at my age, I am still driven to dynamically work closely with the government and attend to the needs of the elderly sector. I and all members of OSCA in Iloilo City are extremely grateful for the health security and protection given by PhilHealth. As the President of OSCA, I will not get tired of attending meetings, programs and coordinating with PhilHealth for I know we have one common denominator—to serve for the interest of the Senior Citizens. This is the advocacy I have instilled to our sector and will still promote to other people, to my children and their children as long as I am able and alive,” emphasized Lolo Elpidio.
As of September 2017, there are 619,424 enrolled Senior Citizen and Lifetime members in Region 6. (Klarissa Alkonga, PRO VI)
(Reference: Dr. Israel Francis A. Pargas, Head Executive Assistant and Concurrent OIC-Vice President for Corporate Affairs Group, Cel No. 0917-8089399)