Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial announced last Saturday during her visit at Maguindanao Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) that poor Filipinos can avail free hospitalization and medicines, even without Philhealth card starting next year.
“No need of Philhealth card, just prove you are a Filipino, you are entitled to be covered by the health benefits, the Philhealth will take care of the hospitalization billings and other concerns” Ubial told health officials and the media.
According to Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the senate committee on finance, since there are some eight million Filipinos still not covered by Philhealth. It is their duty to extend basic healthcare protection to all Filipino people. That is why they pushed the augmentation of the Philheath’s budget to achieve universal healthcare coverage.
Ubial also mentioned that some senators provided additional one billion to the two billion pesos allocated budget for free hospitalization and medicines. President Rodrigo Duterte also included another five billion pesos collected from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
Ubial guaranteed that the amount will be handled in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Hence, Ubial said that she is just following the orders of Duterte who she quoted ” Just take care of the poor, I’ll take care where to find money.”
Moreover, the 2017 national budget will also allocate P96.336 billion funds for the construction of additional health facilities and drug rehabilitation centers.
Meanwhile, an additional P8 billion budget as well was allocated to Commission on Higher Education(CHED) for free tuition in all State Universities and Colleges (SUC’s) in the Philippines.