Tag Archives: Government Service Insurance System

Cancer in PhilHealth

Even though cervical cancer screening has been included in a diagnostic package three years ago, the Senate of the Philippines still sought to establish a Philippine Cancer Center as well as a national control program.

In the “Tamang Serbisyo sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya” (Tsekap), cervical cancer was among the medical conditions included in the Enhanced Primary Care Package by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). A total of 15, 068, 028 indigent and sponsored members of the health company can go to either a private or a public hospital that is a Tsekap provider.

But there are still gaps in cancer care, Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito reasoned, so he filed Senate Bill 1850 or the “National Integrated Cancer Control Act”. It was approved on third and final reading to be able to, as its title implies, integrate policies for the prevention, detection, correct diagnosis, treatment, and management of cancer.

“Through the National Integrated Cancer Control Act, we can give cancer patients a choice, we can give them hope – hope that they will have an equitable and affordable cancer treatment and care especially for the underprivileged and marginalized Filipinos,” Sen. Ejercito was quoted saying in an article.

Under the bill, it will not only be cervical cancer that the PhilHealth can sponsor for but all types and stages of cancer in both adults and children. All member employees and voluntary members shall be covered and compensated by the sickness benefits of the Social Security System and the disability benefits of the Government Service Insurance System.

All health maintenance organizations would be required, too, to cover genetic counseling and testing, cancer screening, and diagnostic and palliative care. The University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital should establish the Philippine Cancer Center and a fund—the Cancer Assistance Fund—to ensure a steady supply of cancer drugs and cancer control related vaccines to patients.

Cancer is the third leading cause of adult death and the 4th for child morbidity in the country. There are an estimated 8 deaths per day for child cancer and up to 11 new cases and 7 deaths per hour for adult cancer based on the record of the Department of Health. This translates to almost 110,000 new cancer cases and over 66,000 cancer deaths every year.

“Through the National Integrated Cancer Control Act, we can give cancer patients a choice, we can give them hope – hope that they will have an equitable and affordable cancer treatment and care especially for the underprivileged and marginalized Filipinos,” Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the Medical Observer

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Job hunting for Filipino PWDs

Persons with disabilities in the Philippines have been given a chance to prove their worth.

In Makati, its deaf-mute residents have been invited in a job fair held at the Activity Center of the Ayala Malls in Circuit Makati. Among of the 26 companies that have been “intent of hiring persons with disability (PWDs)” are the George Optical, China Bank, Regalong Pambahay, Nail-A-Holics, Group Perspective Incorporated, CNT, Guill-Berns, BFL Bookstore, Market Place Christian Church Transport & Multi-Purpose Coooperative, Philippine Survey Research Center, and Receivers and Liquidators. There were also food establishments such as the Samjin Amook, The Burgery, Torch Circuit Lane, Fox Box, Dunkin Donuts, Andok’s Lechon, Rackshaack Circuit, Serenitea, and Mesa Restaurant; shopping centers such as the Mi Department Store, Rustans Super Center, Uniqlo, and Bench; and recruitment agencies Mirof Resources Incorporated and More Than Jobs. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Home Mutual Development Fund (Pag-Ibig), and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) were in the job fair, too.

In Quezon City, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has partnered with the 30 Rotary Clubs of District 3830 to conduct a one-day job fair where private companies and government agencies in Metro Manila have participated. Job-seeking PWDs or employers just have to register at philjobnet.gov.ph. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will also provide livelihood and skills training during the event.

“The special activity will highlight compliance with the law mandating offices of government to set aside one percent of the positions to persons with disabilities. The same law, Republic Act 10524, encourages private enterprises with more than 100 employees to reserve one percent of their workforce to the disadvantaged persons,” the labor department stated in an article.

In Iloilo, seven PWDs have grabbed the chance for a possible employment in a two-day job fair facilitated by the Public Employment Service Office (PESO). A total of 124 companies offered more than around 60,000 job vacancies—most of which are for overseas employment—in malls as service crew and cashiers, in drug stores as sales clerk and pharmacy assistant, and in supermarkets as bagger and cashiers, among others. The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) also joined the event.

While this is a welcome event, The PWD Forum hopes that the private companies that joined the job fair haven’t done so to exempt themselves from labor law compliance inspection for one year. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has promised that immunity in an interview at the Jobs and Opportunities Fair for PWDs at the covered walk of Quezon City Hall.

“The law mandates that employer or business establishments to hire PWDs of at least 1 percent of their business compliment. If there’s a company that will hire more than one percent or will reach 10 percent, I will give immunity from inspection for one year.” ~ Silvestre Bello III

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the International Labour Organization

Safety first!

Filipino journalists deployed in “difficult, strife-torn, and embattled areas” might have “adequate mandatory hazard pay and commensurate insurance” once the Senate Bill 1860 is passed.

Filed by the chair of the senate committee on social justice, welfare and rural development Sen. Leila de Lima, the “Journalists’ Protection Act of 2018” would require media entities to give members of the press (a) a hazard pay equivalent to at least 25 percent of the gross monthly salary of the journalist, (b) an insurance of P350,000 for disability and up to P200,000 for hospitalization, and (c) a special insurance program for freelance journalists by Social Security System and the Government Service Insurance System.

The hazard pay shall not be subjected to tax and the death benefits amounting to 300,000 shall be given to all media practitioners and employees who will die in the line of duty.

Had this been thought of before November 23, 2009, the 34 journalists who have gone with former vice mayor Esmael Mangudadatu of Buluan1 would have been benefited. They were kidnapped and killed then, prompting the Committee to Protect Journalists2 to call what happened that day as “the single deadliest event for journalists in history.”

Or Arturo Acosta Borjal before he succumbed to lung cancer. He was just three years old when he had been struck with polio, a viral disease causing muscular paralysis and skeletal atrophy and deformity.

The son of Arsenio V. Borjal and Marta Acosta Borjal just persevered. He studied humanities and law degrees at the Ateneo de Manila University (he was the school paper’s editor-in-chief and president of the Debating Team and the Supreme Student Council before he finished Law), keeping in mind his reason for doing so: to fight for the dignity and rights of fellow Filipinos with disabilities.

AAB had principally authored Republic Act 72773 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons. He had dedicated his daily column in The Philippine Star to appeal for help for the sector and commend government and welfare organizations that assist it. He had also directed Tahanang Walang Hagdan (Home with No Stairs) and had hosted two public affairs programs of GMA7, “Issues and Answers” and “No Holds Barred.”

He had been the executive director of the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP)4, too. And the 1990s had been such a decade for him. He became the president of the City College of Manila (CCM), appointed as Sectoral Representative for the Disabled in the Eighth Congress, founded Abilympics Philippines, chairman of Gulong sa Pagsulong project, and speaker/delegate to the 16th World Congress of Rehabilitation International in Tokyo, Japan.

The first Filipino journalist ever elected as president of the Manila Overseas Club and the National Press Club, AAJ received the City Government of Manila’s 1981 Outstanding Citizen of Manila, Ateneo de Manila University’s 1961 Distinguished Leadership Awardee, Rotary Club of Manila’s 1986 Newspaperman of the Year, and Catholic Mass Media Awards’ 1986 Best Opinion Columnist. He was the director of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) at the time of his death.

“The press is considered as the fourth estate, a significant pillar of our democracy. However, journalism and reporting the news remains to be a dangerous profession.” ~ Sen. Leila de Lima

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Love KIMXI

Notes: Aside from the Senate Bill 1860, Sen. De Lima also principally authored the Senate Bill 1197 or the “Act Defining Extrajudicial Killing and Providing for its penalty.” She has conducted four hearings on this subject during her chairpersonship of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, and delivered three privilege speeches on extrajudicial killings and fake news.

1The capital of Maguindanao since 2014, Buluan is a 4th class municipality subdivided into seven barangays.

2The Committee to Protect Journalists is a New York-based independent non-profit, non-governmental organization with correspondents around the world. It promotes press freedom and defends the rights of journalists, earning it the name “Journalism’s Red Cross”.

3The law, promulgated by former president Corazon Aquino in March 24, 1992, provided for the rehabilitation, self-development and self-reliance of PWDs by giving them equal access to education and employment and easier mobility in public establishments.

4It was renamed the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA).