SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives unanimously approved on third and final reading a measure which seeks to provide persons with disabilities (PWDs) access to health care.
House Bill 8014 entitled “An Act Providing For The Mandatory PhilHealth Coverage Of All Persons With Disability (PWD)” got the support of all 204 House Members present during the plenary voting.
The bill, principally authored by Rep. Micaela Violago (2nd District, Nueva Ecija), seeks to amend for the purpose Republic Act 7277, as amended, otherwise known as the “Magna Carta For Persons With Disability”.
Violago said that based on a World Health Organization article, people with disabilities, though having the same health needs as non-disabled people, have less access to health care services and therefore experience unmet health care needs.
“The article further states that evidence also suggests that people with disabilities face barriers in accessing the health and rehabilitation services they need in many settings. This should not be the case,” she said.
Rep. Alfredo Garbin, Jr. (Party-list, AKO BICOL), another author of the bill, said that based on the latest available data from the 2010 Philippine Census, almost 1.5 million household population in the country or about 1.57 percent had disability.
“This number is expected to have increased by 2015 Philippine Census data, if PWDs were not left out. While there are many PWDs employed, many are unemployed and are dependent on the income of other family members,” Garbin said.
The bill states that “All persons with disability (PWD) not currently afforded health insurance under any existing category shall be covered by the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)”.
It further states that the funds required for the effective implementation of the Act shall be obtained from the National Health Insurance Fund of PhilHealth earmarked from the proceeds of Republic Act No. 10351, otherwise known as “An Act Restructuring The Excise Tax On Alcohol And Tobacco Products” in accordance with pertinent laws and regulations.
The bill mandates the PhilHealth and the Department of Social Welfare and Development to promulgate the necessary rules and regulations for the implementation of the Act within 30 days after its effectivity.
Other authors of the bill include Deputy Speakers Fredenil Castro, Linabelle Ruth Villarica and Raneo Abu, Reps. Rodel Batocabe, Christopher Co, Mariano Michael Velarde Jr., Jerry Trenas, Alfred Vargas III, Vilma Santos-Recto, Cristina Roa-Puno, Enrico Pineda, Michael Odylon Romero, Raul Tupas, Angelina Tan, Cristal Bagatsing, Winston Castelo, Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., Tricia Nicole Velasco-Catera, Yedda Marie Romualdez,, Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo, Estrellita Suansing, Karlo Alexei Nograles and Arthur Defensor Jr. | Ma. Victoria Palomar