Senate passes Universal Health Care Bill

By CNN Philippines Staff

Soon, all Filipinos will have access to adequate health services.

The Senate on Wednesday passed on third and final reading a bill that seeks to provide adequate healthcare services to Filipinos. All senators voted for the approval of Senate Bill 1986 or the “Universal Health Care Bill.”

This comes immediately after President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for the proposed measure’s passage at the Senate.

Once enacted, all Filipinos will be given universal health care coverage and benefits under the National Health Security Program, which replaces the National Health Insurance Program or Philhealth.

Under the proposed measure, contributors–or income earners–will have to pay for their premiums while the government will shoulder the contributions of non-contributors. Funds for the subsidy will be included in the annual General Appropriations Act. Health Secretary Francisco Duque has also said that sin taxes from cigarettes will also a major source of funding for the universal health care law.

The House of Representative had previously passed a version of the bill (House Bill No 5784) in September 2017.

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