The city government of Tacloban has entered into an agreement with Population Services Pilipinas Inc. (PSPI) to support the enrollment in Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) of an additional 7,000 families in the city.
The PSPI subsidy for PhilHealth coverage of more poor families in Tacloban City was made possible by a grant from the World Bank.
The World Bank grant also provides for the establishment of birthing homes in Eastern Visayas, one of the country’s poorest regions.
Present during ceremonies for the signing of the agreement between the city government and PSPI were Mayor Alfred Romualdez, Rostom Deiparine, chief operating officer of PSPI, and Jaime Bernadas, regional health department director.
The families qualified for the PSPI subsidy were immediately enrolled in PhilHealth, according to Walter Bacareza, PhilHealth vice president in Eastern Visayas.
The government is expanding the coverage of PhilHealth to bring health insurance to the poorest of the poor, many of them also beneficiaries of the government’s cash transfer program.
The expansion of PhilHealth coverage is viewed by many as government’s answer to protests against what some describe as “corporatization” of several government hospitals in which public hospitals will be managed by private companies.