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The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco held the first Talakayan Sa Konsulado this 2017 on Friday, February 10, at the Consular Services Lounge.  Talakayan is a series of informational sessions on topics relevant to the Community, with discussions led by experts in topics such as health care, immigration, labor and wages, abuse prevention and rehabilitation, and the like.

Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon explained that Talakayan is in line with the Consulate’s thrusts to Spark* Connect* Empower* the Filipino-American Community under its jurisdiction, as the sessions provide an opportunity for the Community to meet people who might be able to assist them on certain concerns, or connect them with people who might be able to help.

Done in partnership with the Philippine American Press Club, the first Talakayan was about Medicare and Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP).  Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 years or older, for certain younger people who have been disabled for two years, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD). This is particularly relevant to the Community, now that the first generation of FilAms and veterans are growing older and in need of insurance protection.

Representatives of HICAP San Francisco and San Mateo, Daly City HART, and Always Best Care – Peninsula spoke about programs that could aid community members.  Ms. Cherie Querol Moreno and Mr. Miguel Martinez of HICAP informed the Community that general enrollment for Medicare is ongoing until March 31, 2017, stating it was important to arm one’s self with information that could be relevant not just to themselves, but to family members and friends.  Mr. Chito Patricio of Healthy Aging Response Team (HART) said that their organization was available to provide information on transportation, support services, health care, shelter, and recreation activities for people who are 50 years old and above.  Ms. Angela Encarnacion of Always Best Care informed clients of their Always in Touch program, which assigns people to give a phone call to seniors to remind them to take their medicines and give them an opportunity to speak with someone and make them feel remembered and cared for.

Interested clients were given the opportunity to consult with the panel following the discussion.  END