Ejercito calls for quick draft of IRR for Universal Health Care Law
MANILA, Philippines — Senator JV Ejercito appealed to concerned government agencies on Thursday to expedite drafting the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Universal Health Care Law, which expands access to health care for all Filipinos.
“180 days, that was prescribed for the IRR. I think that is too long. I would like to appeal to the agencies concerned if they can make it faster,” Ejercito, author of the measure in the Senate, told reporters after a press briefing in Manila on Thursday.
Under the law, the IRR must be crafted by the Department of Health (DOH) and PhilHealth in coordination with national government agencies and civil society organizations not later than 180 days upon the effectivity of the law.
The IRR is needed to provide guidelines on how the law will be implemented.
When asked if he would be participating in crafting the IRR, Ejercito said he will leave the responsibility to his legislative staff because he will be busy campaigning for the midterm polls.
“Siguro yung mga staff ko will be part of it. I have to be honest, I don’t think I have time. It is already campaign period. We already started and I am here back in Manila because I consider the UHC as the crowning glory of my career as a legislator,” he said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, however, said the IRR must not be rushed as they need to review the “gray areas” of the new law.
“We don’t want to rush, on the one hand. We would like to be as deliberate and certain about the IRR, covering the areas and addressing its gray areas. So it will be prudent to ensure that we would take more time at least within the minute of one hundred and eighty days,” Duque said. /ee
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