MAYOR Celso Lobregat resumed Wednesday the distribution of Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) cards to the indigents in Zamboanga City.

A total of 2,302 beneficiaries have received their PhilHealth cards Wednesday. The distribution was held at Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum.

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Lobregat said that of 2,302 insurance beneficiaries, 568 were new enrollees and 1,734 were renewals that included 501 former village officials.

Aside from the former village officials, the beneficiaries in Wednesday's distribution of PhilHealth cards include members of the Rural Improvement Club (RIC), new members of the Special Citizen's Armed Auxiliary, Badjaos occupying Zamboanaga City's housing project in Barangay Sangali, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and senior citizens coming from the different villages of Zamboanga.

Lobregat said the distribution Wednesday is the first after the elections but certainly not the last, citing more PhilHealth cards will be distributed to the intended beneficiaries on September 15.

"This is possible because we have included in the budget additional appropriations for new insurance beneficiaries," Lobregat said, adding that the village chiefs have been given a deadline until next week to submit the necessary requirements for enrollment in the PhilHealth.

Lobregat said the village sector has been asked to submit a total of 3,225 new beneficiaries, 250 for RIC members, 500 from the urban poor sector, 100 for the PWDs, and 250 for the senior citizens. (Bong Garcia)