Universal Health Care Bill Passed By Senate
The third and final reading of the Universal Health Care Bill has passed by the Senate, with no vote against it. The passage of the bill came after President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for the proposed measure to be immediately passed by the Senate.
This bill will give all Filipinos (regardless if they are active Philhealth members or not) health care coverage and benefits under the National Health Security Program, an agency that replaces the National Health Insurance Program or Philhealth.
Under the proposed measure, contributors–or income earners–will have to pay for their premiums while the government will shoulder the contributions of non-contributors. Funds for the subsidy will be included in the annual General Appropriations Act. Health Secretary Francisco Duque also previously said that sin taxes from cigarettes will also be a major source of funding for the policy.
The author of this groundbreaking law thanked the Senate for approving this bill.
“I consider this measure groundbreaking because beneficiaries will be entitled to health coverage simply by virtue of their citizenship as Filipinos,” he said in a statement.
He added that the President’s call to get the bill moving urgently is a reflection of the administration’s “unrelenting commitment to provide the marginalized and disadvantaged with sufficient and better health care services.”