Palace thanks Senate for passing Universal Health Care measure
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque. (File photo by JOAN BONDOC / Philippine Daily Inquirer)
Malacañang on Wednesday expressed its gratitude to the Senate after it passed on third and final reading the landmark Universal Health Care Bill that would make primary health care services available to all Filipinos.
“We thank the Senate for passing on third and final reading the landmark Universal Health Care Bill,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
Fourteen senators voted to approve the proposed law, which was certified as urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The prioritization of the Universal Health Care Bill bespeaks of the Duterte administration’s unrelenting commitment to provide the marginalized and disadvantaged with sufficient and better health care services,” Roque noted.
The House of Representatives had previously passed a version of the proposed measure –House Bill No. 5784 – last September.
Roque, a former representative of Kabayan party-list and sponsor of the House version of the bill, said the measure is “groundbreaking because beneficiaries will be entitled to health coverage simply by virtue of their citizenship as Filipinos.”
Once enacted, all Filipinos will be given universal health care coverage and benefits as mandated by the National Health Security Program.
The bill was principally authored by Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, a member of the Senate majority bloc and chairman of the Senate health committee.
Ejercito said the bill will ensure that financial issues will no longer be a burden to Filipinos when it comes to healthcare.
Senate OKs Universal Health Care bill on final reading
He noted that the bill would expand PhilHealth coverage to include free consultation fees, laboratory tests, and other diagnostic services. /kga