Monday, August 19, 2019

Senator hopes universal healthcare program to become law soon

SENATOR Joseph Victor Ejercito is hoping that his landmark legislation which is the Expanded Universal Healthcare Program will be signed into a law by President Rodrigo Duterte before Christmas.

Ejercito, in a press conference on Saturday, December 8 in Bacolod City, said the law will be the best gift for all Filipinos this Christmas.

He said the ratification of the bill will be done today and it will be submitted for review to the President and signing into a law.

All Filipinos will benefit and will be covered by the national health insurance.

“We would want to increase the benefits. This will lower the out of pocket expense to about 30 percent. We will spend in the primary care component or the preventive side of the healthcare and we will include check-ups, laboratory test in the coverage of the National Health Insurance under the Universal Health Care Program which is the salient point of the bill. This will be the game changer in the health situation in the country,” Ejercito said.

He added that the funds for Universal Health Care would be sourced from the incremental sin tax collections as provided for in Republic Act No.10351, and 50 percent of the national government share from the income of the Philippine Gaming Corporation.

Other sources are the 40 percent of the Charity Fund, net of Documentary Stamp Tax Payment, and mandatory contributions of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, premium contributions of members, annual appropriations of the Department of Health (DOH), and national government subsidy to PhilHealth included in the General Appropriations Act.

The funds shall be transferred to PhilHealth and would be used to improve its benefits packages.

Ejercito explained that the amount necessary to implement the UHC shall be included in the GAA and shall be appropriated under the DOH and government subsidy to the PhilHealth.

“The DOH, in coordination with PhilHealth, may also request Congress to appropriate supplemental funding to meet the targeted milestone of the UHC Act,” he said.

Ejercito is the chair of the Senate committee on health. (TDE)


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