Press Release
August 3, 2013

PhilHealth card as national ID

Simulat's sapul consistent ang posisyon ko dyan. Gawing national ID ang national health insurance card. As early as 1995, itinadhana na ng isang batas na ang PhilHealth card ay ang de facto national ID.

Republic Act 7875, the National Heath Insurance Act of 1995 which is also the charter of Philippine Health Insurance Corp, calls for the "universal and compulsory" coverage of Filipinos under a national health insurance system.

The said law requires all "citizens to enroll in the National Health Insurance System."

Once enrolled, the member will be given a "Health Insurance ID Card", which, according to the PhilHealth charter, shall be issued by the local office of PhilHealth so that it can "identify the member, verify his eligibility, and record his utilization of benefits."

Under the said law, when a member transfers residence, he must inform PhilHealth of his new address, thus meeting the monitoring requirements of an ideal national ID.

At present, we are nearing 100 percent PhilHealth coverage, ibig sabihin kumpleto na ang data base. Pati nga mga kasambahay, hindi ba kasama na rin? Next year nga, P35.3 billion ang nakalaan sa 2014 national budget upang i-enrol ang 14.7 million families or at least 72 million members of poor households sa PhilHealth.

If tweaked, the PhilHealth card would fit what an ideal national ID card should be.

It is not invasive of one's privacy. The information supplied is limited to basic ones that the card won't appear as a curriculum vitae.

However, I admit that the current format of the PhilHealth card would have to be redesigned to meet the specs of a good national ID.

Pwedeng idagdag ang mandatory photo and other vital information such as place and date of birth (para kung above 60 automatic na itong senior card) and current address, voter's precinct (para voter's ID). It can be reconfigured so it can truly become a 'one card, fits all' document. Ang hanap natin ay ang Swiss knife version ng ID, with multiple uses.

The beauty of adopting the PhilHealth card as the Filipino ID is its high social acceptability over a card imposed by the police authorities.

The benefits one may derive from a PhiHealth card are clear to the bearer, unlike a card which was conceived with the security of the State in mind. People will be happy carrying this card because it will help them in a medical emergency. They will not leave home without it.

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