It is the time of year again when parents get excited as their children graduate from college. You hear a sigh of relief from them as they say, “Hay salamat anak! Nakatapos ka na!” All the hard work, projects, examinations, tuition fees, miscellaneous expenses, sleepless nights, and sweat in the past school years finally paid off.
With the ultimate goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage, the PhilHealth Regional Office (PRO) IV-B partnered with the Lyceum of the Philippines University –Batangas, to promote the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) among graduating students and among students who are already 21 years of age and can no longer be declared as legal dependents of their parents as provided for by the National Health Insurance Act.
Through a Memorandum of Cooperation, both PhilHealth and LPU-Batangas aim to prepare these students as they become potential new members of the workforce. The project shall ensure that students who have reached the age of 21, are assisted, well-informed, and empowered as they become PhilHealth members and as they join the employed sector or the formal segment of the economy.
Through the years, the PRO IV-B, which handles the provinces of Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Marinduque and Romblon, has been participating in various employment seminars, job fairs, and career congresses in the region. Such initiatives were “come and go” activities and registration efforts and outcomes were not sustained. This brought about the birth of Project Welcome, Project 21 that is now piloted at the LPU – Batangas. The aim is to enroll students who are 21 years old and above, both enrolled and graduating, and those nearing said age as may be applicable. These students are actually exposed to undue risks of financial misery and economic burden in times of sickness, surgeries, medical emergencies, hospitalization and confinement and they are no longer qualified as legal beneficiaries of their parents who are the principal members.
To date, the PRO IV-B Marketing Team of the Field Operations Division-Membership Section had already facilitated enrollment of more than 300 students and had also provided front line services to the faculty and staff of the University. Five (5) major information campaign activities, featured in local news and publications in the Southern Tagalog area, had been conducted in coordination with the then Executive Director of the Linkages and International Affairs Office, Dr. Leon R. Ramos, Jr., who was also the Focal Person for said partnership. At present, it is the restructured Strategic Communications, Linkages and International Affairs Office, under the tutelage of Dr. Maribeth G. Buenviaje, its new Executive Director, in coordination with the Alumni and Placement Office, headed by Director Evangeline Mendoza, that manage Project 21-related activities.
Another initiative being eyed by the PRO is to send out messages through text blasts and e-mails as automated reminders to the enrolled 21-year olds for the payment deadlines of NHIP premiums. The initiative utilized available data from the LPU and data collated by PhilHealth from various information campaign activities. Again, this is to sustain their coverage and for them to have a hassle-free availment in times of medical need.
Yes, they will be on their own, but not entirely. PhilHealth, through the support and backing of the Lyceum of the Philippines University will be at their midst. With Project Welcome, Project 21 accessible and continuously implemented, they are covered as they soar high and reach for their dreams. (END) (Dr. Mary Arlene C. Villena, Chief Social Insurance Officer, PRO IV-B )
Reference: Corporate Affairs Group | Trunkline: 441-7444 loc. 7652 & 7653