PB renews healthcare coverage for Capitol officials, employees

The Cebu Provincial Board (PB) approved an ordinance renewing the health insurance coverage for Capitol officials as well as regular and casual employees during its regular session on Monday.

Authored by 7th district PB Member Christopher Baricuatro, the ordinance grants Capitol officials a maximum coverage of P38,000 for their hospitalization while P30,000 is the ceiling for  the premium of employees.

Baricuatro said that insurance coverage is necessary since it will keep a healthy workforce and maintain the physical well-being of officials and employees.

“It has a significant impact on the efficiency and effectiveness on the delivery of public services,” he said.

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Currently, the Cebu provincial government has 1,525 regular and casual employees.

Last January, Capitol linked up with Insular Health Care in providing additional insurance premium coverage to Capitol workers without deductions from their salary for premium payments.

The coverage includes health care, health education, wellness program, out-patient as well as in-patient services and group-term life insurance.

Baricuatro, however, clarified that the more than 1,500 job order (JO) personnel in the Capitol are not included in the healthcare insurance program.

With Capitol officials having a bigger coverage over the employees, 1st district PB Member Raul Bacaltos proposed an amendment that will grant rank-and-file personnel the same premium with elected officials.

“Mas gamay mag suweldo atong mga empleyado, mas maayo siguro pareha ang coverage,” Bacaltos said.

Moreover, ABC Association president Celestino Martinez III suggested switching the insurance premiums of elected officials and employees. He also asked Danilo Rodas, provincial budget officer, a way to provide JOs with healthcare insurance.

“They are the ones who earn so little. Ang atong mga JOs mao ang tiil sa atong provincial government. Sila atong sugo-on kon duna kitay mga proyekto ngadto sa kabukiran,” Martinez said.

Rodas said the matter was already raised during their meetings, but they found out that there is a legal impediment for JOs inclusion.

“As much as we would like to provide an insurance coverage for them, there is a law that bars us from doing so. However, we will continue to study the matter,” Rodas said.

Rodas pointed out that even President Rodrigo Duterte could only provide JOs gratuity bonus of P2,000 in his executive order due to limitation set by law. The Capitol has started implementing the EO this year.

While the PB members agreed in principle to adopt the amendment, Baricuatro explained that it could take effect only in the new contract which will start next year.

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