Press Release
February 19, 2010

Universal Health Care for All Filipinos By Sen. Benigno S. Aquino III

It is an honor and a privilege to be part of this important gathering of the country's foremost family physicians.

To Dr. Soraya P. Abubakar, the officers and members of the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians: congratulations for organizing this national convention at this crucial period of our nation's political life. Much is at stake in the elections this May, especially for the health and welfare of all Filipinos.

Our public health system, like our educational system, is in a sad state of disrepair. We need not repeat today the litany of causes that have led us to our present conditions, nor do we need to hear the "horror stories" of a majority of our people, who suffer from lack or absence of health services.

I know we all share a sense of urgency to fix our health system. It is time to look forward and face the challenges of health care in the country.

Aquino Health Agenda (AHA)

1. Universal Health Care is the cornerstone of our health agenda.

  • I am happy to hear that Sen. Alberto "Quasi" Romualdez, Jr. and his team prepared a blueprint for Universal Health Care for the period 2010 - 2015. This duration will coincide with the term of the incoming Administration.

  • 15 years ago, the National Health Insurance Law, which created the Health Insurance Corporation of PhilHealth, called for health insurance for all Filipinos by 2010 - this year.

  • Sadly, the government is almost sure to fall short as health insurance barely protects 38% of all Filipinos today, as noted in the National Demographic and Health Survey of 2008.

  • If given the trust of the people, an Aquino administration will achieve Universal Health Care in three years or less.

  • We will go beyond ensuring that each Filipino has a PhilHealth card. Universal Health Care should mean that every PhilHealth cardholder will get not merely the card; but more important, the essential health services, basic medicines and appropriate quality health care.

  • I will also direct PhilHealth to expand outpatient health care benefits as required by law.

  • My administration will work with LGUs and the private health sector to make sure that accredited services are available in hospitals and clinics everywhere.

  • But, we will need your support. As Family Physicians, you will play a critical role as the "gate-keepers" of universal health care in the country.

2. Access to Health through Improved Health Infrastructure

  • Our health infrastructure needs a boost given the gaps in health facilities. Beginning at the barangay level we will fund 22,000 more barangay health stations, 3,000 more outpatient Rural Health Units and at least 150 more district hospitals.

  • Ito'y upang hindi lamang maging abot kaya ang serbisyong pangkalusugan; dapat ito'y katabi lang at abot kamay ng bawat pamilya at komunidad. Maasahan niyo ito sa unang tatlong taon ng Aquino administration.

  • Matagal nang humihingi ng tulong ang mga manggagamot at manggagawang pangkalusugan at mga lokal na gobyerno para sa implementasyon ng mga batas tulad ng Magna Carta for Public Health Workers

  • Ang administrasyon ko ay ipapatupad nang buo ang lahat ng benepisyong itinakda ng Magna Carta for Public Health Workers. Handa akong makipagtulungan sa mga LGUs upang mapabuti ang kanilang serbisyong pangkalusugan

  • Hindi maaaring walang gamot at gamit sa mga pasilidad na may de kalidad na health providers. I will guarantee that the 100 of the most essential drugs in generics are available in every health facility all the time. My government will work with toll manufacturers to ensure that this will be a reality

3. A Holistic and Comprehensive Health Care System

  • To ensure a holistic and comprehensive Health Care System, I will ensure that the national health budget will be at least 5% of the national budget.

  • I will leverage the national health budget to increase investments in health from the private sector.

  • To these ends, I will establish a National Health Development Fund.


Let me summarize the actions of the Aquino administration to achieve universal health care:

  • All Filipinos will have access to essential health care, medicines and services.

  • Philhealth will be a genuine social health insurance where all Filipinos are covered.

  • All members of the PAFP will be the gatekeepers of a rational health system.

  • Huwag na nating palampasin ang 2010 na walang malinaw at matapang na hakbang para sa Universal Health Care for All Filipinos.

There will be universal health care for all Filipinos under an Aquino administration.

However, let us be clear and frank with each other. Our shared dream of universal health care and the goals we aim for can only be achieved if, together, we stand vigilant and fight corruption - the disease that plagues our government and our society.

  • � Corruption has deprived our people life saving medicines, our children basic immunization and other health care services.

  • � Ang katiwalian at kahirapan ang puno't dulo kung bakit hindi umuunlad ang ating bayan. Kung walang katiwalian, lahat ng gusto nating makamit sa kalusugan para sa ating mga mamamayan ay magagawa natin.

  • In 2009 alone, 280 Billion Pesos of the national budget was lost to corruption (according to the Center for National Budget Legislation). This does not yet include revenues lost due to inefficiencies and corrupt practices in tax collection.

  • With 280 Billion, we could've built 560,000 health clinics around the country.

  • Ang laban sa korapsyon ay laban nating lahat. At dapat magsimula ito sa pinakamataas na liderato ng bansa. Ang sunod na Pangulo ay dapat mapagkakatiwalaan na hindi magnanakaw o magaabuso ng kapagyarihan.

  • Hindi ko kayo bobolahin. Handa akong panindigan ang aking track record sa public service - 9 taon sa Kongreso at higit na dalawang taon sa Senado. Bago noon, sa administrasyon ng aking yumaong ina, kahit minsan hindi ako umabuso ng kapangyarihan o awtoridad at nasangkot o nabahiran ng iskandalo.

  • Honesty and integrity, a clean record of public service, a clear vision, and the will to carry it out - these are the fundamental qualities our next leader must have if we are to eliminate corruption in our government.

  • Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap!

  • That is the kind of leadership that I offer to you and our people.

Maraming salamat po at magandang umaga.

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