The House of Representatives approved the Universal Health Care bill which aims to grant free health services to all Filipinos whether they are Philhealth members or not. But as ideal as the bill may seem, it also comes with a price. Philhealth is set to increase an additional P75 on top of the current P200 monthly contributions of its members, as disclosed by ABS-CBN.
Deputy Minority Leader and Kabayan Party-list Representative Harry Roque, one of the authors of the bill, was quoted by ABS-CBN, “This bill is groundbreaking because with it, every Filipino is granted the right to health by virtue of citizenship. It provides health security to Filipinos not because they can pay premiums, but simply because they are Filipinos.”
From the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, it will soon be called the Philippine Health Security Corporation (PHSC) which will be the national purchaser of health services. It will be receiving funds from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) which are currently subsidizing the health bills of impoverished patients.
If this happens, Philhealth expects that there will be more non-payers requiring health services.
Thus, Philhealth is now looking at increasing the monthly contributions of its members to an additional 75 pesos from the 200 pesos they are currently paying.
This proposal drew reactions from different groups. The Employers Confederation of the Philippines wants to know if the increase is really necessary or if the funds contributed by PAGCOR and PCSO may actually be sufficient.
The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) already stated that they will support the bill as long as it will help improve the agency’s services.
The political party “Bayan Muna” disagreed with the proposal calling it an added expense to the Filipino workers who are already embroiled with the impending tax reforms.