LHIO Albay chief social insurance officer Darlene L. Nuyles welcomes the new office as a way to bring the services closer to Albayanos, as the LHIO is strategically located in the heart of the city.
Nuyles hopes to help decongest clients served in the regional office by catering to all membership and collection functions at the LHIO. Meanwhile, claims and accreditation functions still remain at the regional office located at the Alternate Road, Legazpi City.
Prior to the LHIO’s establishment, the membership and collection functions were carried out by the PhilHealth Members Assistance Counter (PMAC), the forerunner of LHIO Albay, operating inside the regional office.
The PMAC was under the supervision of Marcia Natalia Simsiman, then CSIO of the Membership Section, in 2011.
LHIO- Albay was formally proposed for creation under then OIC- RVP Veronica T. Mateum in October 2011. It was approved by PhilHealth’s former president and CEO Eduardo P. Banzon in November 4, 2011, and was operationalized under RVP Orlando D. Iñigo as soon as he was reassigned back to PRO V after his short assignment as head of PRO IV- A. Since its creation, LHIO Albay was located at the ground floor of the regional office.
Iñigo decided to transfer LHIO Albay to a much bigger office after it was given enough resources to rent its own office space.
As of today, the LHIO has two PhilHealth Expresses under its wing: P- Express Tabaco and P- Express Ligao, catering to members in the first and third districts, respectively. The LHIO covers close to 1.1 Million PhilHealth Albayano members and their dependents representing 85% of the population. These are catered to by 32 accredited hospitals, 107 non hospital facilities, and 306 professionals in the province.
For the RVP, the LHIO’s inauguration establishes its presence as a separate entity from the regional office, and is expected to boost PhilHealth coverage rate from 85% to at least 90% of this year’s population in Albay.
Albay Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda and Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal are expected to grace the inauguration, along with PhilHealth Board Member representing elected Local Chief Executives, Dr. Eddie Dorotan. The inauguration will officially open with a motorcade at 7:30 am, followed by a Mass and blessing of the LHIO. (MAL/AZSanPablo-PhilHelath/PIA5/Albay)