Erap enrolls 10,000 more poor Manileños to PhilHealth | by Tribune Wires | July 31, 2017

Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has enrolled another batch of more than 10,000 indigent Manileños to the health insurance program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Estrada believes that having a health insurance is a must for every Filipino, more so to the poor ones, due to the ever rising cost of hospitalization and medical care in the country.

“This is no longer a privilege, it should be the right of everyone to have a health insurance that they can depend on in times of need,” the Manila mayor said during the ceremonial distribution of PhilHealth ID cards to the 224 of the 10,470 beneficiaries at the city hall.

For financially incapable residents of Manileños, including the jobless, Estrada reassured the city government would strive to enroll them all to PhilHealth. For 2017, the city government targets to enroll a total of 27,500 beneficiaries.

A total of 10,470 residents were enrolled to PhilHealth for this month of July alone, according to Manila Department of Social Welfare chief Nanet Tanyag.

“Mayor Estrada’s thrust is to have everyone, every poor resident, enrolled to PhilHealth, at least those who are qualified. No one will be left behind. Pipilitin natin na mai-enroll lahat,” Tanyag pointed out.

The 10,470 beneficiaries, who included solo parents and residents with chronic diseases that need expensive procedures such as dialysis and chemotherapy, came from the six districts of Manila and Baseco Compound.

Only last month, Estrada approved the release of another P200 million to cover the health insurance of the targeted beneficiaries. This would cover the PhilHealth premiums and other hospitalization expenses of the beneficiaries.

Upon assuming office in 2013, Estrada has been responding to the thrust of the national government for universal health care, especially for indigents of all ages.

As stated in the National Health Insurance Act, the government should give priority to health as a strategy for achieving economic development and improving the quality of life, Estrada pointed out.

As LGU-sponsored PhilHealth members, the beneficiaries are entitled to benefits enjoyed by regular members, Tanyag said. There are a total of 10 million low-income and marginalized members nationwide who are enrolled under PhilHealth’s Sponsored Program.

In 2016, Estrada allotted P142 million for the PhilHealth coverage of 60,000 indigent patients, plus P60 million more to cover other medical expenses.

Back in 2015, about 42,000 beneficiaries were also enrolled to PhilHealth through the P100 million funding released by the city government.