Press Release
July 30, 2018


"A big step towards our dream of universal health care for all Filipinos."

This was the statement issued by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros after the Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 1391 which amends Republic Act No. 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons to provide automatic enrollment and coverage for persons with disability [PWD] in the country's National Health Insurance Program [NHIP].

"Finally, we have a law that aims to expand the benefits currently given to PWDs, by including Philhealth enrolment or coverage. With this law, Philhealth will now be able to automatically cover PWDs for them to have better access to health care," Hontiveros said.

"As we strive for universal health care, this measure will help ensure that no one will be left behind," Hontiveros added.

Hontiveros, who is author and sponsor of the law, said that the rising costs of healthcare drive many PWDs into poverty.

"There are 1.4 million Filipinos living with disability, according to a 2010 census, the majority of whom are in poverty. Physical therapy, maintenance medicines, and frequent doctors' appointments are just some of the many sources of out-of-pocket expenses for PWDs. These are not usually experienced by abled Filipinos," Hontiveros explained.

Under the measure, the premium contributions of all PWDs will be paid by the national government, while the premium contributions of those employed in the formal economy will be shared by the employer and the national government. Premium payments will be sourced from sin tax collection.

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