PhilHealth coverage pushed for ‘junior citizens’ | Inquirer News

PhilHealth coverage pushed for ‘junior citizens’

/ 05:40 AM June 22, 2023

PhilHealth title card. STORY: PhilHealth coverage pushed for ‘junior citizens’

MANILA, Philippines — Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. is pushing for mandatory state health insurance coverage and other benefits for “junior citizens,” or children up to 12 years old, to safeguard their health in their formative years and also ease their parents’ financial burden.

Under House Bill No. 8312, or the “Junior Citizens Act” filed by Villafuerte, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) would provide children mandatory insurance coverage until they reach 12 years old, regardless of their family’s income.


According to Villafuerte, this was “especially important to children from disadvantaged areas where access to healthcare services is low or limited to financial institutions.”


As an added benefit, those whose families earn less than P250,000 a year would also be entitled to a 20-percent discount or exemption from value-added tax on goods and services for their own exclusive use.

These apply to medicines, vaccines, and other essential medical supplies; milk supplements; professional fees of attending physicians and home health-care service providers; medical and dental services and diagnostic and laboratory fees; admission fees in theaters, cinemas, concert halls, circuses, leisure, and amusement centers; and funeral and burial services.

Junior citizens would also be entitled to free medical services, diagnostic and laboratory fees and pediatric vaccinations in all government facilities.

To avail of these benefits, parents or guardians should present to barangay officials an original or signed true copy of their children’s birth certificate issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority and an income tax return showing that their family’s annual income was below P250,000.

The barangay concerned would then issue to the beneficiary a junior citizen identification card and booklet.

An establishment or business entity that fails to grant the said benefits to eligible junior citizens may be sanctioned with the cancellation or revocation of its business permit, permit to operate, franchise, and other similar privileges. Violators also face fines ranging from P50,000 to P200,000 and imprisonment of two to six years.


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TAGS: junior citizens, Luis Raymond Villafuerte Jr., PhilHealth coverage, PhilHealth coverage for children, Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

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