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No PIN, No vaccine: Netizens fire back at PhilHealth that requires PIN to get COVID-19 vaccine

They also pointed out how this would make it harder for Filipinos to get vaccinated and that Filipinos were promised accessible vaccines for COVID-19.

It seems the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) need to start talking a bit more after they issued conflicting statements on March 30.

PhilHealth CEO Atty. Dante Gierran announced that Filipinos have to be registered with the state insurer and remember their PhilHealth Identification Number (PIN) before they can get the vaccine.

“In order to avoid delays and problems during vaccination, we encourage our members to know and keep their PIN,” Gierran said in a statement.

PhilHealth would also share an infographic telling netizens how to get their PIN, member or not.

Gierran said this was in line with DOH’s Memorandum 2021-0099, which states that one’s PIN is to be used as a “unique identifier.”

Netizens were not happy with Gierran’s statement, saying that this requirement makes the vaccination “anti-poor”.

They also pointed out how this would make it harder for Filipinos to get vaccinated and that Filipinos were promised accessible vaccines for COVID-19.

One Netizen even hit the state insurer, reminding them that they have yet to [actually] explain where P15 billion of their funds went during the start of the pandemic.

One Netizen, however, understood the need for a unique identifier.

He stressed, though, that PhilHealth should be the one to reach out, not Filipinos.

The DOH has since stated it to clarify Memorandum 2021-0099.

In their statement, DOH said the PIN: “is not a requirement to register for and receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”

They added that the PIN is only needed should there be side effects after getting the vaccine and the person receiving the vaccine is a member.

“The DOH further reiterates that under the Universal Health Care Law, all Filipinos… are automatic members of PhilHealth,” the DOH also said.

This, of course, did not sit well with netizens, as it reminded them of the many conflicting statements issued by different agencies and levels of government during the pandemic.


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