Bicam approves Universal Health Care Bill

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

FILE PHOTO. The Senate passed on third and final reading a bill that seeks to provide adequate healthcare services to Filipinos.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 27) A bill that seeks to provide adequate healthcare services to all Filipinos is up for President Rodrigo Duterte's signature in order to become law.

The bicameral conference committee (bicam) on Tuesday approved the Universal Health Care Bill, which aims to give all Filipinos health care coverage and benefits under the National Health Security Program that replaces National Health Insurance Program or Philhealth.

This comes after the bicam suspended its deliberations on the proposed policy last week for failing to reconcile different provisions in the Senate and House of Representatives' versions.

Under the measure, contributorsor income earnerswill 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.

It also gives additional benefits to members who directly contribute as the premium rate increases. The additional benefits will give incentives to those who pay higher premiums and those voluntarily paying.

Memberships rate would increase at 0.5 percent per year and income ceiling will adjust by P10,000 per year.

The bill is the consolidation of the Senate version with Senator Ralph Recto as principal author and the House version primarily authored by Representative Angelina Tan.

Duterte in July certified the bill as urgent.

The Senate passed its version of the measure in October, almost a year after the bill hurdled the House.

In a statement Wednesday, the Department of Health lauded the passage of the bill--saying the measure, once enacted, "will catalyze reform of the healthcare system in the Philippines, particularly strengthening primary care services."

"The Bicameral Conference Committee approval of the Universal Healthcare Bill is continued positive news for all Filipinos. The UHC will bring the much needed reform of our healthcare system and provide every Filipino quality and affordable healthcare each one deserves," DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III was quoted as saying.