SENATOR Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said Friday that the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) or Youth Council elections this May 14, and the midterm and local elections in 2019 will push through despite the moves to change the Constitution.
"The two elections will push through. The barangay elections was postponed so many times so it's time that the people will be given the chance to have a say in choosing their leaders. (If) they have good performance, I'm sure they will be re-elected,” Angara said in a press conference yesterday at the sidelines of Liga ng mga Barangay Iloilo Provincial Congress in SMX Convention Center, Bacolod City.
As for the barangay elections, there is no senator who has filed a bill seeking for another postponement, Angara pointed out.
"I don't think any senator will file a bill seeking to postpone again the election unlike in the previous years. So at this stage, it looks that the barangay elections will push through,” the senator stressed.
He also revealed that last year, the President had invited all the senators for dinner and asked them for the postponement of elections because drugs are still prevalent.
On the midterm and local elections next year, Angara said: "I think the elections will push through. Maybe what I see is the possible scenario that the Consultative Commission formed by President Rodrigo Duterte for federalism will come out with the recommendations before the May 2019 elections and there will be a plebiscite.”
Expansion of health coverage
Angara also said he is calling the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to expand its primary care package that will include preventive and promotive health services such as executive check-up and laboratory test, pending the approval of the Universal Health Coverage.
At present, PhilHealth’s primary care package only includes standard health check-ups and medicines for 10 common conditions like asthma, pneumonia, diabetes mellitus and hypertension.
He said an executive health check-up and the corresponding laboratory tests can be costly, as it is enough to eat up one's earnings.
Tax reform law
Angara said he believes the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion has more advantage to the Filipinos despite the increase in prices of commodities.
He said the inflation slightly increased from two to three percent during the previous administration but has increased four percent under the present administration.
The salaries of government employees and those in the private sector earning an annual salary of P250,000 and below are covered by the tax exemption.