Ilocos Norte gives ‘matulungin card’ to boost economic recovery

The province of Ilocos Norte has begun distributing insurance cards or "matulungin" cards to families who were heavily affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Luzviminda Ortal, officer-in-charge of the Sustainable and Development Center (SDC) under the Ilocos Norte government, said Friday some 758 workers in manufacturing, retail and trade services, business process outsourcing, janitorial services and security personnel were among the first batch of beneficiaries who received the government-funded cards at the Robinsons Mall in San Nicolas town on Thursday.

Valid until November 30, 2024, each cardholder is entitled to a maximum of PHP10,000 in discounts on hospital bills or a death aid coverage of up to PHP50,000 if the cause of death is by accident.

"The governor has initiated the distribution of ‘matulungin’ cards to selected workers of Covid-stricken industries. We hope to distribute 10,000 cards for the initial batch,” Ortal said in an interview.

The program has an annual budget of PHP2 million. In sustaining initiatives to provide employment, livelihood, and earning opportunities for Ilocanos, Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc acknowledged the need to protect these workers against any eventuality.

Manotoc said the continuation of measures to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on the employment and livelihood of locals are vital.

He said the launch of the “Matulunging Namumuno, Maaasahang Gobyerno” forms part of the card insurance distribution.

By January 2022, Manotoc's administration had distributed cash aid totaling PHP370 million to Ilocanos who were most vulnerable during the pandemic, in the form of cash-for-work, emergency livelihood assistance, and pay-now-work-later programs.

Meanwhile, a total of PHP40 million was granted to entrepreneurs through micro-financing, apart from livelihood starter kits and equipment.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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