MANILA— Two workers’ organizations in the local show business industry have institutionalized the social health insurance coverage of their members nationwide.
Officers of the Katipunan ng mga Artistang Pilipino sa Pelikula at Telebisyon (KAPPT) and Showbiz Industry Alliance (SIA) recently signed an agreement with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to facilitate the enrolment of KAPPT’s and SIA’s members into the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP).
The KAPPT, which began as the Actors’ Guild of the Philippines in the early ‘80s, is made up of movie and television actors and other personnel who work in front of the camera to provide entertaining TV shows and movies for the Filipino audiences.
Its mission is to empower Filipino actors through ethics and standards and promote their well-being so that they can become powerful influencers in the artistic community.
On the other hand, the SIA is an organization created to bring together other workers in the show business industry, such as comedians, acrobats, stage performers, magicians, and scriptwriters of shows who are not members of the Actors’ Guild.
Noting that the event was a “historic moment for both the Actors’ Guild and the SIA,” KAPPT and SIA President Imelda A. Papin said efforts to provide social protection coverage for those working in the movie and television industry began last year, when they decided to sign an agreement with the Social Security System (SSS).
“Now it’s happening… PhilHealth naman po ang ating ka-partner para bigyan po ng magandang benepisyo ang bawa’t miyembro,” Papin said.
There are about 1,300 active members of the more than 3,000-strong KAPPT membership, while the SIA has yet to gather its members, since it is a relatively new organization.
“In spite of the glamour attached to the movie and TV industry, undeniably, there are hazards that endanger the lives of the people in the said industry. With the medical insurance coverage, this will give our members the protection, as well as the peace of mind that the said medical insurance coverage provides,” Papin said in a statement Friday.
The agreement mandates all self-earning actors in the movie and TV industry as well as other players in the entertainment industry to enroll with PhilHealth and to pay their premium contributions regularly to ensure eligibility to social health insurance benefits.
To facilitate the KAPPT and SIA members’ enrollment into the NHIP, PhilHealth will conduct on-site registration and will process the enrollment documents in accordance with existing membership policies.
Information dissemination initiatives will also be pursued through the creation of a Speakers’ Bureau among KAPPT’s actor-leaders and SIA’s lead members, who will bring PhilHealth information directly to their members and families. This will be spearheaded by PhilHealth’s Social Health Insurance Academy (SHIA).
PhilHealth officer-in-charge, Dr. Celestina Ma. Jude P. de la Serna, lauded the KAPPT and SIA for the initiative.
De la Serna said that through the partnership, “merong sumalo, kung saka-sakali man, na may magkasakit dahil alam naman nating walang nakakatakas sa sakit”.
“One time in your life, you will have a fever, or you might need hospitalization at alam nating magastos ‘yun, and PhilHealth can help you.”
When asked what prompted the KAPPT to enter into an agreement with PhilHealth, KAPPT Chairperson Jeffrey Santos said, “Siyempre we want to protect our members, and one way of protecting them is through the branches of government na tutulong mag-alaga sa amin.”
Santos said these branches of government “could empower our members to better themselves, better their lives, not only for themselves but also for their families”.
He said the current Guild administration’s vision is “to give that empowerment”.
Santos emphasized that “this partnership with PhilHealth will give us a bigger option, an opportunity na matulungan yung members namin, pati yung families din nila,” noting that the KAPPT has plans to subsidize the premium contribution of members who do not have work.
The implementation of the provisions of the agreement among PhilHealth, KAPPT, and SIA is expected to commence soon.