Senate ratifies universal health care bill
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate ratified on Monday the bicameral conference committee report on the Universal Health Care (UHC) bill that would make healthcare available to all Filipinos.
The reconciled version of the measure was approved by the congressional bicameral conference committee last November 27.
Once ratified by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the bill will be transmitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for signature.
Senator JV Ejercito, author and sponsor of the bill, said that the ratification of the UHC is a “victory of all Filipinos.” Ejercito also chairs the Senate health committee.
Once enacted into law, the government’s health services will be made available to all Filipinos, he noted.
“Kapag naging batas ang UHC, magiging magaan na sa bulsa ng ating mga kababayan ang pagpapagamot, check-up man ‘yan o laboratory o kahit pagpapa-ospital pa. No Filipino will be left out because under the UHC, all Filipinos are covered under the national health insurance program,” Ejercito said in a statement.
“Bata, matanda, babae, lalaki, miyembro ng LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community, PWD (persons with disability), kahit sino basta Pilipino, sa ilalim ng UHC, alalay ang gobyerno sa gastos kapag sila ay nagkasakit,” he added.
Meanwhile, Senator Joel Villanueva hailed the ratification of the said measure.
“The UHC Bill is only one step closer to becoming a law. Once enacted, all Filipinos will be covered by the PhilHealth,” Villanueva said.
He noted that by improving the health benefit packages “would entail the inclusion of preventive and promotive health services in a bid to alleviate the chances of confinement and encourage a healthy lifestyle among Filipinos.” /je
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