Manila, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Universal Health Care Law. He led the ceremonial signing which included other bills that are now new laws in the country. The Universal Health Care Law is set to widen the reach of coverage of Philhealth. This law will serve Filipinos here and abroad.
Included in the law are free consultation and diagnostic services, and medical examinations. Philhealth’s other funds will come from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) charity fund, the income from the Philippine Gaming Corporation, contributions from members, national budget from the Department of Health (DOH), other government subsidies, and collections from sin taxes.
There’s is a risk of the funds getting low, though, due to the pending of bill on sin taxes for cigarettes in the House of Congress.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that there’s a need to budget the funds for now because of this reason but he also insists that there are still ways to ‘augment resources’.
Senate Committee on Health Chairperson, JV Ejercito said that the Filipino people won’t feel threatened anymore when they or their loved ones are sick. He said that the government is an ally of the community to promote better health for the Filipino people. He also pointed out that this health care law enhances the capability of the government to provide cheap but effective health care.
This bill which Ejercito wrote is co-sponsored Senator Risa Hontiveros who used to be the Senate Committee on Health Chairperson. Hontiveros hopes that through this law, Filipinos have better chances to get better health services. She also said that she hopes the law can help everyone have choices for their health and that no parent will be tormented because he can’t bring his kid to the hospital because they don’t have money.