Senator Joel Villanueva on Monday welcomed the Senate ratification of the Universal Health Care Bill which seeks to expand the benefit packages being offered by PhilHealth by increasing the amount of benefits to lessen the out-of-pocket expenses on the part of the members.
“The UHC Bill is only one step closer to becoming a law. Once enacted, all Filipinos will be covered by the PhilHealth,” Villanueva said.
"Congratulations to my Seatmate, health committee chair Sen. JV Ejercito, and to all our co-authors in the Senate who have contributed to the fine-tuning of the bill," the senator added.
Improving the benefit packages would entail the inclusion of preventive and promotive health services in a bid to alleviate the chances of confinement and encourage a healthy lifestyle among Filipinos.
As of 2016, 91% or 93 million Filipinos are covered by PhilHealth. About half of them are indigents while the rest is composed of paying individuals from both formal and informal economies and lifetime members.
Under the bill, funds from the said program will be sourced from the incremental sin tax collections, charity fund from Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), income from the Philippine Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), premium contribution of members, annual appropriations of the Department of Health (DOH), and government subsidy to PhilHealth.
"Magandang Pamasko po ito sa ating mga kababayan dahil kapag may libreng tsekap, laboratory tests, at diagnostic services na para sa bawat Pilipino, sila ay mas magiging malusog at malayo sa anumang karamdaman," the senator stressed.
"Kapag may peace of mind ang ating mga kababayan na makapagpagamot, lalo na ang ating mga manggagawa, sila ay mas magiging produktibo, lalago ang negosyo at gaganda ang ating ekonomiya," Villanueva said.