Residents of Barangay Sapa in Bataraza town have received financial assistance from the Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) in support of their health insurance program dubbed “Impok Pangkalusugan” which is now in its second year.

Community development organizer Adz Adjimin said they have released P36,720 in assistance that will benefit some 102 members.

“Para siyang katumbas ng PhilHealth pero mura siya kasi magbabayad ka lang ng P360 kada taon. Pero taun-taon siya iri-renew, parang piso lang binabayad mo sa isang araw. Pangalawang taon na ito, itong Impok Pangkalusugan ay accredited sa Ospital ng Palawan (ONP) pati sa mga ospital dito sa south,” he said.

Adjimin said that the 102 beneficiaries were chosen in 2019 and renewed their membership this 2020.

He further explained that a particular member could avail of Impok Pangkalusugan benefits only twice a year with a maximum of P2,500 per hospitalization.

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“Last year ay may naka-avail na apat, parang P2,500 kasi ang pwede mo ma-avail kada ospital at ang mga pwede makinabang ay ‘yong asawa mo, anak pati magulang na 60 years old pataas. Sabi nila wala raw sila binayaran, nalibre na sa Impok (Pangkalusugan),” he said.

RTNMC will extend its assistance until 2021 and will let the community stand on its own by 2022 through its own monetary contributions.

The budget allotted by RTNMC came from the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) in 2020 for barangay Sapa, which is covered by the mining company’s operation.

“Sa sunod ay kakausapin na namin ‘yong beneficiaries na sila na ang magpatuloy. Malaking tulong din ito sa kanila kasi may Impok, malaking pakinabang, kahit papaano makabawas sa bayarin,” he said.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.