Press Release
August 1, 2018


Senator Sonny Angara on Tuesday has sponsored the Universal Health Care bill which aims to ensure that every Filipino will have access to appropriate, affordable, and quality health services including free check-ups, laboratory tests and medicines.

Under Senate Bill 1896, all Filipinos shall be automatically included in the National Health Insurance Program, and all Filipinos shall be entitled to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services.

"We now have an opportunity to institute reforms in Philhealth, expand its coverage even further, and most importantly, improve the services and benefits available to all Filipino families. Sa panukalang ito, matutupad ang ating adhikaing maging libre ang pagpapa-check-up," said Angara, one of the authors of the measure, in his sponsorship speech.

The lawmaker said giving Filipinos access to promotive and preventive health services, which include free check-up, laboratory tests and medicines, will reduce hospitalization and improve the health of Filipinos with non-communicable or lifestyle diseases long before their conditions become catastrophic.

"Prevention is better than cure. Kaya't nakakalungkot na ipinagpapaliban ng mga Pilipino ang pagpapa-check-up dahil iniisip nila ang gastusin. Magpapatingin lamang sila kapag malala na ang kanilang sakit. Six out of 10 Filipinos die without seeing a doctor," Angara said.

Under the proposed measure, PhilHealth will become the single national purchaser of healthcare services. It will pool all the medical assistance related funds from different government agencies such as PCSO, Pagcor, and the DOH.

Based on a 2016 data from the DOH, more than half or 54% of the country's healthcare spending came from out-of-pocket expenses.

"This means Filipino families still carry the biggest burden when they seek hospital treatment. That weight should not be theirs to carry alone. In fact, they should not have to carry that weight at all.

"Kapag naging single national purchaser ang Philhealth, mas malaki na ang puhunan nito, at mas malaki ang kanyang kakayanan para saluhin ang mga gastusing medikal ng pamilyang Pilipino. Sa pamamagitan ng Universal Health Care bill, wala nang Pilipinong magigipit kapag nagkakasakit," he added.

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