PHILHEALTH and Global Pinoy Centers. A few weeks ago, I was invited to speak and join in the ribbon cutting ceremony to formally open the fifth SM Global Pinoy Center (SM-GPC) at the SM North Edsa in Quezon City. The SM-GPC is one good manifestation of SM’s commitment to the welfare of our hardworking OFWs as well as to their millions of loved ones here in the Philippines. SM-GPCs offer a wide range of customized services from remittance, foreign exchange, voice or video calls via the internet, among others.

What is exciting about the project is the opportunity for PhilHealth to extend its information and promotional services to OFWs who are opting to continue with their PhilHealth coverage. For this I thank SM for allowing us to bring in information materials and collaterals for the benefit of our new heroes and the very wind beneath their wings.

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Joining me in the said ceremony were SM Global Pinoy awardees, international performer Lea Salonga; mountaineer Romi Garduce; prima ballerina Lisa Macuja-Elizalde; and fashion icon Rene Salud. At some point in their lives, these men and women have worked at the world’s stage and proved how great Filipinos are in practically all fields of endeavor.

Thank you again SM for having me and PhilHealth as part of your OFW advocacy.

Transport workers unite! Last week, no less than Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office General Manager Rosario Uriarte came over to PhilHealth’s head office in Pasig City to personally sign a Memorandum of Agreement with us and extend health insurance coverage for some 200 thousand transport workers nationwide.

The PCSO has been very supportive of PhilHealth for the past years and this time, it is extending its charitable work by pouring in some 120 million pesos to shoulder the Local Government counterpart for a year’s health insurance coverage of our public chauffeurs.

Being exposed to the harshest of elements, not to mention that the current summer heat is compounded by episodes of El Niño in many parts of the country, drivers could be the most vulnerable to a lot of illnesses. While many of them are enrolled as Individually Paying Members, still many cannot simply pursue paying on their own due to a lot of financial considerations in the family.

With their target of 200 thousand transport workers, close to a million beneficiaries stand to benefit from the Family Health Cards that they can make use of in availing of PhilHealth benefits at any accredited hospitals nationwide.

For GM Uriarte and her PCSO team, salamat po ng marami sa inyo at naalala ninyo ang mga magigiting nating drayber sa lansangan!

Hataw sa serbisyo. I would like to invite everyone to also listen to my radio program “PhilHealth Hataw sa Serbisyo” every Friday, from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at dwIZ AM Radio 882 KHz.

Aside from the latest from PhilHealth, Hataw also discusses various health concerns as part of our commitment to heighten public awareness on common illnesses, what causes them, how to prevent as well as cure them and more. This Friday, we will discuss heatstroke, its causes and how to prevent it. With me during the 30-minute program are veteran broadcaster and DWIZ’s news director Ely Aligora and the adorable Marou Sarne. Cap the week with Hataw!


Dr. Aquino’s column appears every Wednesday. Send questions and comments to