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Actors Guild members can now avail of PhilHealth, SSS

By Nestor Cuartero

JUST A THOUGHT: “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” – Anonymous

AFTER SSS COMES PHILHEALTH: First, she had the members enrolled under Social Security System (SSS). That was in 2017, her first year in office.

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This time around, members of the country’s Katipunan ng mga Artista ng Pelikulang Pilipino at Telebisyon (KAPPT) can soon avail of benefits extended by PhilHealth, the Philippines’ major health care provider. Both are landmark achievements in the history of the guild, the first time ever.

Coinciding with her birthday week on Jan. 25 (she was born January 26), KAPPT president Imelda Papin announced the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Actors Guild and PhilHealth, signalling a new era in the administration of the 1,000-member strong body.

Held at the Icon Hotel, Timog branch in Quezon City, the occasion was witnessed by key officials of the Guild and PhilHealth. Heading the signatories was Dr. Celestina de la Serna, interim OIC and CEO of PhilHealth.

Imelda also announced that members of the newly formed Showbiz Industry Alliance, an organization of performers doing stage shows in the provinces, are also entitled to become PhilHealth members. Imelda is behind the formation of SIA, which currently has almost 1,000 members.

PhilHealth members pay an annual fee of more or less 2,400 pesos. Actors Guild members belong to what is considered informal economy.

THANK YOU, IMELDA PAPIN: It was heartwarming, to say the least, hearing the touching remarks made by members of both KAPPT and SIA to their president.

They all expressed their gratitude to Imelda, whom they called heaven’s gift to them.

Josie Tagle, a veteran character actress said that little people in the movie industry felt they felt protected only when Imelda became president. She said the SSS and Philhealth memberships meant a lot to underemployed movie and TV folk.

The veteran singer-actress took note of the importance of the so-called little people in the entertainment industry, calling them unsung heroes. In truth and in fact, she said that a movie or TV series cannot be produced without support from the little people, extras and bit players.

The same sentiment was expressed by Rosemarie Farinas, director-producer behind D’Rosemarie Stage Shows of Manila. She and her fellow stage show people said they were touched when Imelda included them as among the beneficiaries of this new health scheme. SIA is made up of singers, dancers, acrobats, musicians plying the country’s stage show circuit.

PROVING HERSELF WORTHY: Papin’s administration thus far has been met with nothing but positive remarks from Guild leaders and members.

Board Chairman Jeffrey Santos lauded Imelda’s tireless perseverance. Former film producer Lyn Madrigal, guild treasurer, said the KAPPT could only thank Imelda for her big heart in helping their poor members.

The celebration ended with members of Imelda’s family – her three grandsons by daughter Maffi’s marriage, and their cousins – surprising the Jukebox Queen with an impromptu performance. By then, there was no stopping tears from falling from Imelda Papin’s eyes. This time around, she wasn’t singing.