CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Governor Lilia Pineda called on village officials Monday to help in identifying poor families for coverage under the Philhealth insurance program and making sure that those covered maximize their insurance services.

Pineda made this call during Tuesday's awarding of 1,700 insurance cards under the Point Of Care program of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth).

"If all poor families in the communities maximize their cards and avail of checkups, village officials will be saving a lot in terms of health assistance," the governor said. She said that village officials have the responsibility of bringing poor constituents into government programs.

The governor also reminded barangay officials to be honest in identifying "really poor" beneficiaries and set aside partisanship and biases in identifying beneficiaries. She added that the Philhealth should not be used for political interests.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development recently submitted to the provincial government a database containing the names of some 55,000 indigent Kapampangans.

Pineda said that there are now various health programs and services offered by the Capitol for poor residents in Pampanga.

"There is now no reason why poor people with health problems should not get the necessary services. I urge barangay officials to do their part," Governor Pineda said, adding that barangay officials should be in the forefront of identifying poor residents who can be enrolled in government health programs here.

Earlier, 70 nurses were deployed to different towns in Pampanga as the Capitol is set to intensify its grassroots health program for indigents.

Governor Pineda said that the move aims to bring to far-flung barangays and those in the grassroots level the government's health programs. The move is also seen as a way to effectively survey people with health problems.