Press Release
July 17, 2012

Transcript of Press Conference of Senator Franklin M. Drilon

After the Joint Congressional Hearing on the budgets of the Department of Health and Philhealth

I am generally pleased with the performance of the Department of Health led by Secretary Enrique Ona. I note that the budget of DoH will be increased by about 38% from 2012 level. 2012 budget for DoH excluding Phihealth is P30.1 billion, this will increase to P41.8 billion to 2013 without Philhealth premium, an increase of P11.7 billion. This is consistent with the thrust of the administration of achieving the Universal Health Care especially for the poorest sector of our society. I am also pleased with the performance of Philhealth.

Right now, Philhealth has a reserved fund of about P107 billion. What is important to note is that the benefit payments for 2011 is about P35 billion, for 20120 it will increase to anywhere from P45 to P50 billion. The 2012 and 2011 will show that the benefit payment is much higher than the premium payment. Hindi kagaya ng dati na mas mataas ang premium payment kaysa sa benefit payment. This is important because it means that benefits are being paid out rather than staying as reserves funds. As I am saying this is an important development for Philhealth.

We are also happy to note that all the beneficiaries of the CCT of the DSWD are enrolled in Philhealth. Remember that the CCT program as of today has about 3.1 million enrollees based on the National Housing Targeting System for Poverty Reduction. So, these 3.1 million who are beneficiaries of CCTs are also enrolled in Philhealth. Right now, the national government is paying P200/month in premium. This is in addition to P1,400 in terms of direct cash transfer. P200 is in form of premium payments paid directly to Philhealth by the national government. Ang total ay 4.9 million; in other words, as we talk now, there are 18 million of the sponsored Philhealth members - meaning the poorest of the poor - are not yet covered by CCT.

We have to sustain this benefit program including improving the facilities, putting up of the rural health units. Right now, there are still about 300 municipalities where there are no accredited RHUs. Therefore, many of our Philhealth enrollees cannot yet avail of the Philhealth program to the fullest extent because kulang pa yung ibang facilities, RHUs. Meaning the RHUs where the CCT beneficiaries can go to are still not enough because out of our 1,600 municipalities, there are still 300 without RHUs.

That is why we need to pass the Sin Taxes Revisions, because the increase in the proceeds in tax collection in cigarette and alcohol will be for our health services, for the health sector of our budget. That is why we have to pass the revision in our sin tax.

Dahilan po na yung budget for respiratory diseases which basically is due to smoking is much higher and expensive that the amount of taxes we collect today for cigarettes. We have to close the gap by having reforms in our sin tax law.

Hindi naman mawawala yung charity ward. Mawawala ang charity ward in the sense that all patients now will be using Philhealth and therefore, the public hospital will be paid by Philhealth. Instead of these hospitals using its budget, it will now be Philhealth that will be paying them. In that sense, there is no more charity because it is now being paid. The way you understand charity in the point of view of a patient, there is still charity because they are not paying anything. But as long as the hospital is concerned, there is no more charity ward because there will be payments made by Philhealth.

Right now, 82% of the population, according to Philhealth, is covered. The total Philhealth beneficiaries, as we speak now, are 78,870,000 out of a population of 95 million.

Q: Ano na ang mangyayari sa budget ng hospitals?

The budget of hospital is never sufficient. They will use that for upgrading their facilities, etc.

The coverage of Philhealth is quite extensive except that there are limitations. For 2013, P12 billion is allocated for Philhealth, same with 2012 because there are the same number of beneficiaries. Kasama na yung CCT because the CCT beneficiaries are chosen from the NHTS that is 3.1, but the total target is about 5.2 million. Out of the 5.2 million, 4.9 are already covered by Philhealth.

On 'super coalition'

Insofar as the coalition is concerned, President Estrada said there is no guest candidate. Personally, I agree with former President Erap. Mahirap namang tumayo sa dalawang plataporma. You stand on a platform of the coalition.


First, the review of the President's first two years of his performance would indicate a serious pursuit of the policy of good governance, and to me, that is a key to many of the achievements for the past two years. The confidence, for example, of the investors is principally based on the fact that the President has not interfered in any business deals. The confidence of the investors is very critical for us to expand our economy. Good governance is essential so that our people's faith in our system will continue to be strengthened. I would like to see the President lay off programs along these lines, platforms that brought him to the Presidency. People will be looking forward to policies in pursuit of this program.

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