Press Release
February 20, 2019


Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros today said that the country's goal of "healthier Pinoys and Pinays" is now closer to reality, as she hailed the signing into law of the Universal Health Care Act.

Hontiveros, vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography and co-sponsor of the law in the Senate, said that the measure is a "key milestone in efforts to make the country's health services equally accessible, effective and affordable for all Filipinos."

"The passage of the Universal Health Care Act is, above all else, a leap forward to a more progressive and equal Philippines. By reforming the health system into one in which all Filipinos -regardless of status or financial capability - can easily access health services, we also help dismantle the inequality and injustice that has plagued the local health sector in the past," she said.

"The measure will have a significant, lasting and profound effect on the health of every Filipino as it closes the economic, class and gender gaps in the delivery of healthcare systems in the country," Hontiveros added.

The new law mandates "all Filipinos to be guaranteed equitable access to quality and affordable health goods and services and to be protected against financial risk." To do this, the law requires that all Filipinos be automatically included in the new "National Health Insurance Program," along with access to other population-based and individual-based health services.

Under the said health services, Filipinos can also avail of free consultation, laboratory tests and other diagnostic services sought by the poor, the marginalized and those in far-flung areas.

"By bringing our people closer to quality and effective health services, we are paving the way for new generations of healthy Pinoys and Pinays who can better contribute to the nation's progress and development," she said.

Hontiveros then urged government to assure the availability of necessary funds for the many programs under the Universal Health Care Act: "We need to make sure that these health care reforms are truly implemented and will benefit our people on the ground. We must push forward and ensure that indeed, a healthier 'Pinas is on the horizon."

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