Press Release
November 27, 2018

Bicam approves universal health care measure with steady PhilHealth fund sources

THE Senate and the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved at the bicameral conference committee a reconciled version of the universal health care (UHC) bills.

"This is a historic day and everybody is happy. We just need to ratify the measure and then, hopefully, maipadala sa Office of the President for review and for President Duterte to sign it into law," Ejercito said in a statement.

The Bicameral Conference Committee on the Disagreeing Provisions of the proposed UHC measures (Senate Bill No. 1896 and House Bill No. 5784) finished its work with a strong assurance that PhilHealth has a steady source of funds for the sustainable implementation of UHC once enacted into law.

"Magandang pamasko ito sa mga Pilipino kapag naging batas ngayon. Sa UHC, lahat ng Pilipino ay covered ng national health insurance program kaya abot-kaya na sa bulsa ang pagpapagamot," he said.

Ejercito, principal author and sponsor of SBN 1896 and the head of the Senate panel to the bicam, announced that both bicam contingents approved a provision which states that the funds for UHC would be sourced from the incremental sin tax collections as provided for in Republic Act No.10351, and 50 percent of the national government share from the income of the Philippine Gaming Corporation.

Other sources are the 40 percent of the Charity Fund, net of Documentary Stamp Tax Payment, and mandatory contributions of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, premium contributions of members, annual appropriations of the Department of Health, and national government subsidy to PhilHealth included in the General Appropriations Act (GAA).

The funds shall be transferred to PhilHealth and would be used to improve its benefit packages.

Ejercito explained that the amount necessary to implement the UHC shall be included in the GAA and shall be appropriated under the DOH and government subsidy to the PhilHealth.

"The DOH, in coordination with PhilHealth, may also request Congress to appropriate supplemental funding to meet the targeted milestone of the UHC Act," he said.

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