After a week of fighting dengue fever, Melany Caday‟s two sons are finally out in the hospital.
Melany, 40, cannot hide her relief even after seeing their hospital bill.
Normally, she would fret about where to borrow money to cover for the payment of the bills whenever a member of their family is hospitalized. As a „kakanin‟ vendor and a beauty product dealer with a husband who is an on-call construction worker, she admits to not having enough savings for emergency purposes such as this.
But at that time, she had no worries.
Prioritizing the health of the family
Melany, a resident of Brgy. Cometa in the island municipality of Quezon, Quezon Province, animatedly shares how she‟s not afraid to bring family members to the hospital even when she knows they have no extra cash.
“Noon, madalas na magkasakit ang mga anak ko pero talagang dinadala ko sila sa ospital kapag nagkakasakit na. Ang sa akin, importante na maging ligtas sila, kaya kahit walang pera, sige lang. Bahala na kaming dumiskarte „pag lalabas na,” she said.
Today, however, Melany is grateful that she no longer has this problem.
As a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Melany‟s family has been entitled to the National Health Insurance Program (PhilHealth).
The Pantawid Pamilya is a human capital development program of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to qualified poor families to support zero to 18 years old children‟s needs on health, nutrition and education.
Since beneficiaries of the program are based on the database of poor households of the DSWD‟s National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction, now Listahanan, which is the basis of the identification of PhilHealth‟s sponsored program for those needing urgent assistance, all Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries and their qualified dependents were automatically enrolled through PhilHealth Circular No. 24, Series of 2012.
Beginning 2012, all Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries can avail benefits including primary care package, inpatient and outpatient care services, and No Balance Billing Policy.
This was great news for Melany as this greatly supported her concern for the health of her family.
Last November, Melany‟s two sons—Ken Manuel, 13 and Daniel, 11—were confined in a hospital in Gumaca town. Because of her family‟s sponsored PhilHealth membership, the insurance covered every peso of their PhP20,000 bill.
“Kung walang PhilHealth, hindi ko talaga kayang magbayad ng PhP20,000 paglabas namin ng ospital. Napakalaking tulong po na hindi na kami mangungutang at poproblemahin pa ang pambayad sa opsital,” she gratefully shared.
Importance of good health
For Melany, investing on the health of her children is a priority as it is where everything starts.
“Napaka-importante na napapangalagaan ang kalusugan ng pamilya, lalong lalo na ang mga bata. Sa kanilang maayos na kalusugan, hindi sila uma-absent sa school at madali silang natututo,” said Melany, who thanks the Pantawid Pamilya for emphasizing to every parent the importance of the health besides the education of the children.
Further, she mentions the Family Development Sessions (FDS) of the Pantawid Pamilya program that parent-grantees like her attend to monthly.
“Mas napalakas ng aming mga pag-aaral sa FDS ang pagpapahalaga ng mga magulang sa kalusugan ng mga bata katulad ng regular na pagpapacheck-up, paghahanda ng masustansyang pagkain at paglilinis ng kapaligiran,” Melany added.
In the implementation of the Pantawid Pamilya program, household-beneficiaries are provided with PhP500 monthly health grant to support the health needs of children, especially those zero to five years old. The provision of the said grant is granted to the household upon compliance to program conditions such as monthly preventive health checkups and monthly attendance to FDS.
The FDS is a monthly gathering of parent-grantees facilitated by the DSWD City / Municipal Links, local government partners and civil society organization partners. Sessions include strengthening marital relations, children‟s rights, health and sanitation, budget management and disaster preparedness among others.
For a mother like Melany, having partners to ensure the good health of her children is a big relief.
Without worrying about the health of her children, Melany focuses on working hard to ensure that she and her husband can better provide for their family‟s needs, especially in ensuring the good future of their three children.XXX