the audacity to believe a black pearl can be made

now i have the audacity to believe i can make a black pearl out of philhealth services. i am sure my family will wonder what pearls i am referring when i cannot dive and search for pearls. the black pearl is my methaphor of my goal now – getting philhealth create a special fund for the the families of the missing and dead in the MV Princess of the Seas tragedy last june.

since last june i was persuading philhealth to re-issue a check in favor of a fund for victims. i decided to do something for seafaring victims. my story is similar to that of the free lance writer who needed to get a TIN , (tax identification number ) and his efforts to get it brought him all kinds of experiences, some funny, some frustrating, but on the whole shows how difficult it is to get the service done when dealing with the philippine government. i have a similar experience but it is a case of getting my honorarium from philhealth . the service was a talk on the web of life with overseas filipino workers in la union. i was invited by a board trustee of philhealth, tess de venecia, and i accepted to do it gratis et amore. tess decided i should get a token honorarium together with two speakers. so the philheath people started requesting for a contract signed (even when the service had been rendered a month earlier), my biodata , the module i gave, my legal data – tin, home address and contact numbers. i told them i could email all the information they needed except my signature because i cannot go to their office. a staff was assigned to collect my signature and they did. finally. after processing my case, a check was issued and it was a token amount. i was informed by sms that in case i cannot collect it, a family member, husband,child, sibling can go and collect it for me, bring a letter and two ids. since i was busy with a book, the 60th weddiing anniversary and isis work, i felt the check didnt merit my effort in travelling all the way to philhealth office in shaw and wait for two hours to collect it (dr. glo itchon’s husband had to wait for two hours to collect her honorarium and would have waited for more had he not called glo to call someone she knew in philhealth) .

after another month had passed , i asked my brother to collect it. philhealth would only issue it if i send a notarized special power of attorney. my brother explained that it was just a token honorarium and that i rendered the service pro bono but since philhealth wanted to thank me, i would still accept the token, though i cannot personally get it. philhealth refused to give it to my brother. the incident irritated me. i wrote to the philhealth staff that i did not want to collect my check and they can have it. they started calling me. i also got a response from the board director Tess that she would personally attend to it. i told Tess that i prefer to donate the check to the mv princess victims and that is my final decision. but all their explanations pointed that it cannot be done ! that i have to collect the check and sign the endorsement to another body who can give it to the victims. philhealth does not have the authority to re-issue a check unless i get it first. but i became adamant. which surprise me also. this is where i had to think deeply why i became agitated . life would be simpler if i went to philhealth. i tried but somehow i didnt get to the office in shaw blvd. something was moving me in another direction. something was irritating me to irritate the staff calling me.

the agitation increased every time a philhealth staff would call me to collect the check. they kept telling me that it is not in their policy, that it is not their office that can provide aid to sea faring victims and that it would take a long time to create a special fund. meantime, the check will go stale by the time people are convinced a special fund is necessary. the staff assigned to me, agnes, pleaded to get me to collect the check because she didnt want it on her conscience. i told her that it is like an irritation that creates the black pearl. that i believe a pearl of an idea is being born and that i will move all the seawaves to get that pearl to the victims. what audacity! poor agnes, she could only listen to my extemporaneous speeches, from visions to insights on how philhealth can tap the philantrophy spirit of OFWs once they create a diaspora philantrophy office and allow overseas people to donate to a special fund . i kept on urging agnes, poor agnes, whom i told she would be guided by st.agnes of bohemia ( another audacious input ) if she tried talking to the person who can move the pearl making process. now i have convinced myself that i will use that check to move the sea energies for traumatized families. i keep going to the edge of this story.

now i am really agitated and this blog is part of that pearlmaking audacity..i really believe the process of making a black pearl out of philhealth will help the seafaring victims. so st.agnes help. Amen.

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