Some 12,137  indigents in 24 barangays of General Santos City recently  received free cards from Philhealth.  Dr. Miriam Grace Pamonag, field operations chief IV of Philhealth Regional Office 12 said the recipients were those identified under the National Household Trageting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR). Premiums for the health insurance have been paid by the national government through the Department of Health.

Additional 453 indivuals were given free Philhealth cards under co-sponsorhip of LGU-Gensan's Family Resource Allocation ang Management Enhancement (FRAME) and Philheath.

"General Santos City is the first city in Region 12 to receive free health cards," Pamonag said.

Recipients were from barangays Buayan, Bula, Conel, East, Katangawan, Mabuhay, Sinawal, Tinagacan, Apopong, Calumpang, Batomelong, North, Fatima, Baluan, Labangal, Ligaya, San Isidro, Lagao, San Jose, Tambler, Bawing, Upper Labay, City Heights, and Olympog. Gensan City Mayor Darlene Magnolia Antonino-Custodio said although Gensan is a first class component city, it has pockets of poverty just like any urban city, hence it is qualified in the government's poverty alleviation programs such as Philhealth and 4Ps.

"Please take care of the cards and don't abuse these to make sure that this program of the national government.will be sustained," she appealed to the recipients during the distribution rites.

"Here in region 12 more than 290,000 free Philhealth cards are scheduled to be distributed," Pamonag announced.

Region 12 is comprised of the provinces of North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan, and Cotabato.

Pamonag said recipients can use the cards to avail of hospitalization, free consultation, and diagnostics from any of the Philhealth-accredited hospital and non hospital health facilities.  

She added, the card is valid until December 31, 2011. (PIA 12/Philhealth 12)

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