(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 17 April 2024) Easterlies affecting the country. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—˜π—”π—§π—›π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from East to Northeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Friday, March 01, 2024

Elderly in Caraga thankful for government’s help

By Jennifer Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY (PIA) – The federation and chapter presidents of senior citizen associations in the Caraga region convened for an orientation and dialogue with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Caraga, held at the Watergate Hotel, Butuan City.

With the guidance of the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC), the different government agencies and local government units in the region have further strengthened their linkages with the officials and members of the senior citizen federations.

According to Julius Duterte, project development officer of NCSC Clustered Region No. 8, the event was conducted to update senior citizens on the coverage of their health benefits implemented by PhilHealth.

“The NCSC will be conducting more learning sessions for our senior citizens, making them understand better the different laws that give them the opportunity to enjoy their lives and undertakings,” Duterte said.

He also highlighted that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed into law Republic Act 11982 on Monday, February 26, which compels the government to give P10,000 in cash to Filipinos who have reached the age of 80 and every five years thereafter, until they reach 95.

The regional federation officers of the senior citizens from the different provinces of Caraga region actively took part in the recently held dialogue spearheaded by the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) with the personnel from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga, among others. Photo by PIA-Caraga.

“This is just one of the developments from which our senior citizens will benefit and will uplift their life situations,” Duterte relayed.

Javier Abasolo, president of the Tandag City Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (FSCAP), Caraga Regional President of FSCAP, and NFSCAP Vice President Geographical for Mindanao,expressed his gratitude for the constant support and interventions of the NCSC along with other government agencies under the administration of President Marcos, Jr.

“We really appreciate the efforts of the concerned agencies in reaching out to our elderly persons in the barangays, monitoring and evaluating what needs to be addressed, and ensuring that the benefits for the sector are well-implemented. With this, we are happy to see that more of our senior citizens are becoming active in participating in the activities of the federation and getting involved in community activities,” remarked Abalos.

Lawyer Franklin Quijano, chairperson and chief executive officer (CEO) of NCSC, discussed with the different stakeholders, especially the elderly,the different laws, rules, programs, and services that will benefit the elderly Filipino people, particularly Republic Act (RA) 7876, an act establishing a Senior Citizens Center in all cities and municipalities in the country; RA 10911, which prohibits the discrimination against any individual in employment on account of age; and RA 11916, an act thatincreases the social pension of indigent senior citizens and appropriating funds, among others.

Representing Michael Jibson Hernandez, regional vice president of PhilHealth Caraga, Jocelyn CaΓ±ete, chief of field operations division of PhilHealth regional office, assured that their agency will bolster its efforts in providing a high level of healthcare services and assistance to the senior citizens in the region.

"Your welfare will always be a top priority. Having said that, our office is intensifying its efforts to provide better healthcare assistance to the people we continue to serve, including all the senior citizens in Caraga," she said.

CaΓ±ete engaged in a dialogue with the regional federation officers of senior citizens and presidents and shared with them the different healthcare benefits and packages intended for the elderly members of PhilHealth.

She also reiterated that qualified individuals for PhilHealth membership are those Filipino citizens who are residents of the Philippines, aged 60 years or older,and are not currently covered by any membership category of PhilHealth.

“This also includes the qualified dependents of senior citizen members who are also senior citizen themselves and qualified dependents of members belonging to other membership categories, with or without coverage, who are senior citizens themselves,” she said.

Senior citizens who are gainfully employed or who remain to have regular sources of income shall continue to pay their premium contributions to PhilHealth under the applicable membership categories.

In hospitals with an installed institutional health care provider portal (IHCP), senior citizens only need to present their senior citizen card, member data record (MDR), or any accepted proof of identity and age. The hospital shall print a PhilHealth Benefit Eligibility Form (PBEF). A PBEF that says “yes” means that the patient is entitled to the benefits and shall serve as a basis for automatic deduction.

The regional federation officers of senior citizens in Caraga region, together with the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and other guests, participated in the consultation dialogue and orientation on PhilHealth’s programs and services, held at The Pavilion, Watergate Hotel, Butuan City. Photo by PIA-Caraga.

In case the hospital has no HCI portal installed, the PBEF says “no,” or the senior citizen was not able to enroll before discharge, the following should be attached to the usual claim documents:

a. duly accomplished PhilHealth Member Registration Form (PMRF); and

b. an acceptable proof of status as a senior citizen, including but not limited to the Senior Citizens' Identification Card.

Meanwhile, on behalf of Butuan City Mayor Ronnie Vicente Lagnada, Councilor Victor Vicente G. Plaza recognized the valuable contribution of the senior citizens to the progress of the city and their presence and guidance to the youth.

"The city government of Butuan is thankful to our senior citizens for their support in bringing development to our society in the past few decades. Butuan wouldn't be what it is today without your significant contributions," said Plaza. 

The elderly people in the region were thankful for the various programs and services from the different government agencies, as they have become fully aware of the laws that protect their rights and promote their general well-being. 

The NCSC, further, will sustain its engagement with the Regional Inter-Agency Committee on Senior Citizens (RIAC-SC), chaired by DSWD-Caraga, for a timely assessment and intervention on the pressing issues concerning the sector. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)