Press Release
July 25, 2018


The Senate on Tuesday night approved on second reading a proposed measure providing mandatory Philhealth coverage to persons with disabilities [PWDs]. Authored and co-sponsored by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros, Senate Bill No. 1391 provides that all PWDs are automatically enrolled and covered under the National Health Insurance Program or NHIP.

"I am happy with this development. I laud the Senate's commitment to ensure that PWDs will be given better access to long-term medical care," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros, who is Vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Health, said that differently-abled Filipinos have a greater likelihood to needing medical assistance. "There are 1.4 million Filipinos with disability, comprising 1.53% of the country's population, according to a 2010 census. The majority of PWDs are poor and cannot keep up with the rising costs of medical care," she said.

The measure will amend Republic Act No. 7277 or the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons. The bill mandates that the premium contributions of all PWDs will be paid by the national government, while the premium contributions of those employed in the formal economy will be shared by the employer and the national government. Premium payments will be sourced from sin tax collection.

"This will amplify the PWDs' access to the country's healthcare services," according to Hontiveros. "Persons with disability face many barriers in availing of the government's healthcare services. This bill, once enacted into law, will remove some of those barriers," explained Hontiveros.

She urged the immediate passage of the bill into law, recognizing the government's duty to provide an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development.

"Once enacted into law, this bill will enable all Filipinos with disability to enjoy the benefits of Philhealth", Hontiveros said. "With this measure, we hope that our PWDs will be able to fully enjoy their rights, freedom and dignity," she concluded.

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