PRESIDENT Duterte has certified as urgent a bill providing universal healthcare to all Filipinos, giving his administration another boost in the eyes of the public, particularly the poorest of the poor.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, a former member of the House of Representatives, said Duterte announced his decision during a lengthy Cabinet meeting last Monday.
Duterte’s pushing for the swift approval of the proposed measure offers ample proof that he wants to uplift the health condition of the people by providing accessible health services to them.
Note that many people, especially those living in far-flung communities not reached by the government’s health service, still die without seeing a medical doctor due to grinding poverty.
In fact, various quarters concede that today, staying healthy or recovering from sickness costs an arm and a leg, forcing poor patients to seek medical help from quack doctors and faith healers.
The House of Representatives passed on third and final reading its version of the universal healthcare bill last September. On the other hand, the 24-member Senate has yet to pass its version.
Congress’ rules and regulations provide that a bill certified as urgent by the President of the Philippines can be passed on second, third and final reading on the same day.
Under the House version of the proposed legislation, all Filipinos will be automatically included in the National Health Security Program, which entitles them to all its benefits.
The measure also authorizes all government health facilities to use 100 percent of their income to enhance their capacity and improve the quality of services.
We support the passage of the universal health coverage bill to improve the quality of life of every Filipino.
Thus, our lawmakers ought to waste no time in approving the proposed measure, which is an integral part of the Duterte administration’s nationwide anti-poverty program.