Press Release
July 31, 2018


In an effort to close the gap between the rich and poor regarding access and delivery of important health services in the country, Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday co-sponsored the Universal Health Care Bill.

In her co-sponsorship speech, Hontiveros said that despite the government's huge investments in health and effort to achieve its international development goals in the past 10 years, the country is still far from achieving universal health care for all Filipinos.

"In a country where the gap between the rich and the poor remains wide, the level of healthcare service between private and public must be narrowed down. The government needs to expand the country's healthcare infrastructure and make healthcare less intimidating by ensuring that all Filipinos, young and old, rich and poor, have financial risk protection," Hontiveros said.

The proposed measure under Committee Report No. 401 was principally sponsored by Senator JV Ejercito. It seeks to respond to existing health service barriers and institutionalize past initiatives of health reform-minded managers and advocates in the country.

Hontiveros explained that the bill primarily mandates that all Filipinos, especially the poor, are afforded adequate health coverage, access to a network of facilities and quality services. She said that the bill also proposes to address the fragmentation of the health care delivery system by providing a framework for the integration of the health system at the level of provinces and highly urbanized cities.

The Senator also said that the proposed measure seeks to institute changes in the operations of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to enhance the delivery of benefits to all Filipinos.

Last February, Hontiveros filed Senate Bill No. 1714 or the "Healthy Pinoy, Healthy Pinas Bill" to contribute to the overall discussions of health systems reforms and bring the country closer to the path of universal health care.

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