Duterte signs univer­sal health care law

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! -

P RES­I­DENT Ro­drigo Duterte on Wed­nes­day, Fe­bru­ary 20, signed into law the land­mark leg­is­la­tion that grants Filipinos ac­cess to univer­sal health care ser­vices.

Duterte led the cer­e­mo­nial sign­ing at the Palace's Rizal Hall on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, Fe­bru­ary 20, of the Univer­sal Health Care Act.

The law, rat­i­fied by Congress in De­cem­ber 2018, pro­vides health care in­sur­ance cov­er­age to all Filipinos un­der the Na­tional Health Se­cu­rity pro­gram and up­grades the gov­ern­ment's med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties.

A bud­get of P257 bil­lion in the first year of its im­ple­men­ta­tion. Un­der the 2019 bud­get, how­ever, only around P217 bil­lion was ap­pro­pri­ated for the pro­gram.

The P40-bil­lion fund­ing gap is ex­pected to be fi­nanced by a mea­sure rais­ing taxes on to­bacco prod­ucts, but Congress is still draft­ing a fi­nal ver­sion of the bill.

Other fund sources are: 50 per­cent na­tional gov­ern­ment share from the Philip­pine Amuse­ment and Gam­ing Cor­po­ra­tion; 40 per­cent from the Philip­pine Char­ity Sweep­stakes Of­fice's Char­ity Fund; Philip­pine Health In­sur­ance Cor­po­ra­tion's pre­mium con­tri­bu­tions; and Health de­part­ment's an­nual ap­pro­pri­a­tions.

Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Sal­vador Panelo said the gov­ern­ment would opt for "grad­ual" im­ple­men­ta­tion of the law in the mean­time, while it was look­ing for ways on how to fill in the fund­ing gap for the univer­sal health care pro­gram.

"Pagkakasyahin muna natin un­til such time na magkasya ang pondo. Grad­ual ang im­ple­men­ta­tion pero (The im­ple­men­ta­tion is grad­ual but) there are many ways to aug­ment the re­sources. I'm sure the gov­ern­ment will know how to source funds, in ac­cor­dance with the Con­sti­tu­tion," he said.

"Pag-aar­alan la­hat iyan kung ano ang makak­abuti sa at­ing mga kababayan kaug­nay sa kani­lang kalusugan (We'll look for ways that will ben­e­fit our coun­try­men when it comes to their health)," the Palace of­fi­cial added.

The new law en­sures that all Filipinos are guar­an­teed eq­ui­table ac­cess to qual­ity and af­ford­able health goods and ser­vices, and pro­tec­tion against fi­nan­cial risks through a sys­temic ap­proach and clear de­lin­eation of roles of key agen­cies and stake­hold­ers to­wards bet­ter per­for­mance in the health care sys­tem. AU­THOR­I­TIES ar­rested in Bu­la­can on Thurs­day, Fe­bru­ary 21, two women who yielded P25 mil­lion worth of sus­pected metham­phetamine hy­drochlo­ride (shabu).

Cristina Joan Webb Trinidad, 39, and Ruth Fran­cisco, 34, were ar­rested in their rented apart­ment in Barangay Sta. Bar­bara, Bali­wag, Bu­la­can in a drug op­er­a­tion con­ducted by the lo­cal po­lice around 3:50 a.m. Thurs­day.

Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent Chito Ber­saluna, Bu­la­can Pro­vin­cial Po­lice Of­fice direc­tor, said the two women were ar­rested af­ter a poseur buyer pur­chased P10,000 worth of il­le­gal drugs from them at their res­i­dence.

Seized from the sus­pects were 3.7 kilo­grams of shabu worth P25.744 mil­lion and other drug para­pher­na­lia.

Ber­saluna said the two sus­pects are not on their drugs watchlist.

But with the value of il­le­gal drugs seized from their pos­ses­sion, they may be con­sid­ered as high-pro­file drug traf­fick­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.