Chiz to fund
barangay officials’ PhilHealth premium in 2015
By Office of Senator Chiz
September 2, 2014
PASAY CITY – Senator
Chiz Escudero will fund the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)
premium of all barangay officials in the country for 2015.
Escudero, chairman of the
Senate Finance Committee, said next year’s budget will have all
barangay officials in the country covered by the National Health
Insurance Program (NHIP) through PhilHealth benefits.
The senator said he will put
a special provision in the PhilHealth budget to include an amount
intended to cover the premiums of barangay officials who are not yet
enrolled in the government health insurance program.
An estimated 600,000
barangay officials from the country’s 42,000 barangays will stand to
benefit from this healthcare program. Currently, under a Department of
the Interior and Local Government Memorandum, barangay officials are
enrolled in PhilHealth depending on the capacity of the barangay to
pay their premiums.
increased budget, the inclusion of all barangay officials as its
members can be made mandatory. As public servants who are in the
frontlines of public services, the members of the Sangguniang Barangay
should have access to healthcare assistance, which is a universal
basic service,” Escudero said.
“We will not wait anymore
for the NHIP to identify barangays and its members for enrollment as
this will slow down the delivery of a much-needed basic service which
is elusive to most of our barangay officials,” the senator added.
From its P12 billion budget
in 2013, PhilHealth’s appropriation amounted to over P37 billion as
full national government subsidy for the health insurance premium of
over 15 million families for 2015.
According to the Department
of Health (DOH), 82 percent of the total population or around 80
million individuals are already covered by PhilHealth. It says the
goal is to boost its coverage to more than 90 percent of the total
population by the end of 2015.
Escudero explained that the
estimated 600,000 to 700,000 additional members from the Sangguniang
Barangay, including barangay tanods, to the existing number of
individuals that are covered by the health insurance is very well
within its absorptive capacity.
Under the Local Government
Code, a barangay chairman, along with the other barangay officials,
should get paid between P600 and P1,000, and Escudero said the
compensation they are receiving is enough proof that the health
insurance is a need rather than an incentive.
“Their compensation is not
even enough to buy the most basic of medicines, much more pay for
hospitalization bills,” said Escudero.
Barangay officials, as
listed, will be classified as members earning P8,999 and below, and
shall pay P100 as monthly premium.