Press Release
March 6, 2013


Senator Chiz Escudero is encouraging the government to continue pouring more funds to improve service to enhance the wellbeing of Filipinos through higher budget for healthcare.

"A bigger budget would improve access to health services among marginalized Filipinos who are in most need of basic healthcare," Escudero said.

Escudero said despite the focus of government on widening the coverage of Filipinos with state health insurance through the dissemination of Philhealth cards, the lack of public hospitals and state health facilities limit the benefits obtained from the state health system.

"May Philhealth card ka nga wala namang public hospitals at malalayo at kulang pa ang mga facilities (Many have Philhealth cards but they rarely use this because of the lack of hospitals and health facilities)," Escudero said.

This year, the DOH had doubled its budget to P56.8 billion out of a national budget of P2.006 trillion but this remains only 2.83 percent of the total yearly government appropriations, Escudero said.

The Aquino administration has taken significant initiatives in improving services provided by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

PhilHealth's "Z" Benefit Package, for instance, aims to reduce out-of-pocket healthcare costs for catastrophic illnesses such as breast and prostate cancer.

The administration had made it a policy in not only valuing the battle against corruption and poverty but also improving the public health system.

To this end, Escudero urged the government to continue promoting universal healthcare and focus on preventive instead of curative health care.

"One of my priorities is recognizing the right to healthcare for everyone especially the poor and the aged," the reelectionist senator said.

He also encouraged the private sector to act as a partner in improving the poor state of the healthcare system since the government cannot do it alone.

"I would like to challenge the private sector to continue contributing to the upgrading and improving of the healthcare system," Escudero said.

The private sector plays a major role in assuring quality healthcare to the public, he added.

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