By Charina Clarisse Echaluce
Thousands of people who are working in the local entertainment industry can now be covered with the social health insurance from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
According to the PhilHealth, officers of the Katipunan ng mga Artistang Pilipino sa Pelikula at Telebisyon (KAPPT) and Showbiz Industry Alliance (SIA) recently signed an agreement with the health insurance corporation to facilitate the enrolment of KAPPT’s and SIA’s members into the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP).
KAPPT and SIA President Imelda A. Papin said that efforts to provide social protection coverage for those working in the movie and television industry began last year when they decided to sign an agreement with the Social Security System.
“Now it’s happening….PhilHealth naman po ang ating ka-partner para bigyan po ng magandang benepisyo ang bawa’t miyembro,” Papin said.
“In spite of the glamour attached to the movie and TV industry, undeniably, there are hazards that endanger the lives of the people in the industry. With the medical insurance coverage, this will give our members the protection, as well as the peace of mind that the medical insurance coverage provides,” she stressed.
There are about 1,300 active members of the more than 3,000-strong KAPPT membership; while the SIA has yet to gather its members since it is a relatively new organization.
The agreement mandates all self-earning actors in the movie and TV industry as well as other players in the entertainment industry to enroll with PhilHealth and to pay their premium contributions regularly to ensure eligibility to social health insurance benefits.
To facilitate the KAPPT and SIA members’ enrolment into the NHIP, PhilHealth will conduct on-site registration and will process the enrollment documents in accordance with existing membership policies.
Information dissemination initiatives will also be pursued through the creation of a Speakers’ Bureau among KAPPT’s actor-leaders and SIA’s lead members who will bring PhilHealth information directly to their members and families. This will be spearheaded by PhilHealth’s Social Health Insurance Academy.
Asked what prompted the KAPPT to enter into an agreement with PhilHealth, KAPPT Chairperson Jeffrey Santos answered: “S’yempre we want to protect our members, and one way of protecting them is through the branches of government na tutulong mag-alaga sa amin.”
“This could empower our members to better themselves, better their lives, not only for themselves but also for their families,” he added.
The implementation of the provisions of the agreement among PhilHealth, KAPPT and SIA is expected to commence soon.