By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Tuesday said he hopes that the Senate will approve the Universal Health Care bill when it resumes regular session this month.
Ejercito made the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte certified the measure as urgent.
“The increasing prices of basic goods make the passage of the Universal Health Care bill even more critical,” Ejercito said.
“I applaud President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to certify the bill as urgent.
We know that health care is a major component of our people’s expenditure,” he stressed.
The senator noted that Filipinos shouldered 54.2 percent of health expenditures in 2016, while the government shares only comprise 34.2 percent of the total health expenditures.
“With the prices of fuel, transportation, and basic goods skyrocketing, the passage of this bill will mean a lot to Filipino families in terms of improving their quality of life,” the senator said.
He said the Universal Health Care bill primarily seeks to uplift the health condition of every Filipino by providing efficient, quality and accessible health services to Filipinos.
He also said the measure provides for the automatic inclusion of every Filipino into the National Health Insurance Program of PhilHealth.
“This is especially beneficial for poor Filipinos and those who live in far-flung areas currently not reached by government’s health service,” he said.
“I view universal health care as an integral to our anti-poverty drive. Ensuring good health for Filipinos is crucial to economic development as because ensuring the well-being of all Filipinos means that they can be more productive, which further means they can better overcome poverty,” Ejercito stressed.
“(I’m) hoping to work on the passage of this landmark legislation once we resume session,” he added.