Press Release
July 29, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara echoed the call of President Aquino and reiterated the need to expand the PhilHealth coverage to cover health insurance program for Filipino children of low-income families through the establishment of a Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

"Poor families, especially during times of financial difficulties, would usually forego health care and put their resources into food. But the state cannot afford to neglect the health of our country's children, if we hope to raise a strong and productive future generation," said Angara who authored the law on PhilHealth in 1995.

"We need to make our children not only dependents of health insurance but beneficiaries themselves. Through this program, the government can significantly increase its investments in health thereby rescuing our young population from a health crisis," he added.

CHIP, Angara said, would complement the existing National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) or PhilHealth by providing children with a full range of health services like regular checkups, immunizations, prescription drugs, laboratory tests, X-rays, hospital and clinic visits, durable medical equipments hospital visits, even dental and eye care.

Under the present PhilHealth system, all senior citizens, including indigents, are provided with financial access to health services. With the proposed CHIP, the country's health services would now cover children, one of the "most uninsured members of our population."

Angara, the current Senate Finance Committee chair, said that additional investments on our nation's health are needed as the country is still faced with major challenges in the health sector.

Further, Angara said that apart from the confusing statistics we have got to set the numbers right first because that's is the most important social service and its about time we make a universal health care.

"In our country, there is still continuing disparity in our citizens' living standards as highlighted by inequitable access to health care. Poor families would usually forego health care, or borrow money at usurious rates, sell the few assets they have, or pull children out of school, just to afford health services they need for catastrophic illnesses. Faced with an economic crisis, we must sound the alarm bell and make necessary adjustments to save our country from a catastrophic health crisis,' added Angara.

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