THE Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has partnered with the Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (PASEI) to strengthen information dissemination and assistance to overseas Filipino workers before they leave the country.
The partnership was institutionalized through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the two parties, represented by Dr. Celestina Ma. Jude P. de la Serna, PhilHealth Interim/Officer-in-charge, President and CEO, and Elsa U. Villa, PASEI President.
Under the agreement, which took effect this February, PhilHealth will provide PASEI with informational, promotional and marketing collaterals such as flyers, brochures and other printed or visual materials that the PASEI can post in and distribute to PASEI member-agencies. The PhilHealth will also provide membership registration and special assistance services during Pre-Departure Orientation Sessions (PDOS) and similar activities, as well as promote the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) among PASEI members, PDOS attendees and the general OFW community. In addition, PhilHealth will sponsor the PDOS sessions being organized by PASEI for one (1) year.
On the other hand, PASEI commits to grant PhilHealth a regular slot in the PDOS sessions to promote the NHIP, space for membership registration services, venue to enable PhilHealth to collect premium contributions from departing OFWs, and acknowledgement as PASEI’s partner in relevant event promotions.
The PASEI, a 37-year old umbrella organization of overseas employment service providers, has 300 land-based recruitment member-agencies, and deploys more than 70 percent of the total manpower placements of the Philippines to over 100 countries worldwide. It is an accredited provider of PDOS, a seminar that departing OFWs must attend.
According to Villa, discussions on the merits of this agreement started three years ago. "It is very special for us because we want our workers to be protected by PhilHealth. We need to disseminate more information about the values of PhilHealth, especially to the families of OFWs who need to know more what they can get from PhilHealth, because it's hard for them to understand the need to pay for something that they do not know anything about."
"It is us who have to be thankful more,” said de la Serna who also represents the OFW sector in the PhilHealth Board of Directors. “We hope that this partnership will bring in more understanding of the OFW needs, and please feel free to tell us how we can do more work to help our OFWs," she said.
According to the Philippine Statistic Authority, an estimated 2.2 million Filipinos are working abroad as end of September 2016. Based on PhilHealth’s database, there are 480,432 land-based OFWs already enrolled with the NHIP, and that total benefit payments to the OFW sector reached P1,142,388,346.00 as of end-December 2017. (END) (by Pedro D. Abella)
(Reference: Dr. Israel Francis A. Pargas, Head Executive Assistant and Concurrent OIC-Vice President for Corporate Affairs Group, Cel No. 0917-8089399)