Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. met with different government officials in Malacañang to discuss the differing provisions of the House version and the Universal Health Care (UHC) billl pending before the Senate in the hopes of fast-tracking its passage.
Roque filed a bill on UHC when he was a member of the House of Representatives and he played a key role in pushing the measure through the House, which passed its version in September 2017.
The Senate has just finished the period of interpellations on its version, which Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, is determined to pass before the end of October.
Roque previously said, once passed, this bill will be groundbreaking because beneficiaries will be entitled to health coverage simply by virtue of their citizenship as Filipinos.
“[O]ne of the key features of this bill is it enables all individuals and communities to receive the full spectrum of health services they need, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care,” he added.
The prioritization of the Universal Health Care bill bespeaks of the Duterte Administration’s unrelenting commitment to provide the marginalized and disadvantaged with sufficient and better health care services.
“We recognize that health is not just merely the absence of disease or infirmity but a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being. I for one look forward to the day when this historic piece of legislation becomes a law,” Roque said.
Also present in the meeting were Health Secretary Francisco Duque, Ejercito, House Committee on Health chairperson Helen Tan, and several officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.