Duterte urged: Sign Universal Health Care bill
CEBU, Philippines — An executive of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has urged President Rodrigo Duterte to sign into law the Universal Health Care Bill (UHC) “as a Christmas gift” to all Filipinos.
Dr. Roy B. Ferrer, PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer, said he hopes the president will sign the bill in the coming days.
“Hopefully mapirmahan na ng Pangulong Duterte (Universal Health Care Bill) sa darating na mga araw, at magandang regalo ito ng pangulo sa mga Pilipino,” Ferrer said.
The bill, which seeks to “guarantee equal access to quality and health services for all Filipinos,” was already approved by the bicameral committee and is just awaiting the signature of Duterte.
Once the UHC becomes a law, it will call for “reforms in the mandate, responsibilities, and jurisdiction” of agencies that implement the country’s health care program, including PhilHealth.
The bill will simplify PhilHealth’s membership into two groups: contributory (premium contributors from payroll) and non-contributory (subsidized contributions from the government).
Non-contributory members are identified from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)’s Listahanan.
Ferrer said a 10 year transition period will be observed before all the benefits under the UHC will take effect.
“It will take around ten years ang transition period, dahan-dahan lang,” Ferrer said.
According to Ferrer, the implementation period once UHC becomes a law will start in 2020 — John Kendrick P. Ceciban, USJ-R Intern, FPL (FREEMAN)