Filipino households identified as poor in the third cycle of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), or “Listahanan 3,” will soon be prioritized for comprehensive health care services from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
This came after DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian officially signed a data sharing agreement with PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Ledesma, who was represented by Management Group Vice President Lemuel Untalan, on Wednesday, Oct. 4, allowing the government health insurance agency to access the DSWD’s list of poor households.
The agreement allows PhilHealth to use Listahanan 3 to prioritize poor household beneficiaries of the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP), which was established by Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act.
Gatchalian emphasized that the partnership “marks another strong signal of a whole-of-nation approach in trying to solve poverty.”
“We know that social welfare is one side of the coin, but we do know that there are more facets to bring our people out of poverty, and that includes healthcare,” he said.
The Listahanan, developed by DSWD, serves as the basis for the selection of eligible beneficiaries of all national government agencies’ social protection programs and services in accordance with Executive Order No. 867, Series of 2010.
Gatchalian said the DSWD is fortunate to share the Listahanan data with PhilHealth, which he describes as a “very powerful tool” for ensuring that the poor and most vulnerable people receive adequate healthcare.
“We all know that the brand PhilHealth is synonymous to making sure that every single Filipino family is covered by universal healthcare and covered by the best type of healthcare there is,” he added.
PhilHealth Acting Head Executive Assistant (HEA) Joanne Teresa Madarieta said the data sharing agreement and transfer of the Listahanan 3 data “marks a significant step in fulfilling our mission to provide effective and efficient delivery of PhilHealth programs and services to the Filipino people, especially to our poor and marginalized kababayans.”
PhilHealth was one of the end-users of the Listahanan 2 database, which the government health insurance agency used for its Indigent Program, which helped millions of poor and vulnerable Filipinos.
Madarieta said the updated DSWD data will be a valuable resource for PhilHealth coverage, as it seeks to expand and improve the quality of its services.
“The increase in the number of covered Filipinos from 4.61 million in 2012 to 12.17 million in 2022 is a testament to the effectiveness of this collaboration,” she added.