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Cayetano: Gov't can help PhilHealth guarantee healthcare access to all Filipinos

PHILIPPINES, October 5 - Press Release
October 5, 2022

Cayetano: Gov't can help PhilHealth guarantee healthcare access to all Filipinos

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday said he wants the government to help the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) guarantee access to quality healthcare for all citizens.

"Wala namang mag-a-argue na kapag ang Pilipino may sakit, kailangang ipagamot. The government is here to fill the gaps [in their basic needs] -- kaya nga tayo pinuno dahil pupunuan natin ang mga pagkukulang," Cayetano said during the October 5, 2022 briefing on PhilHealth's National Health Insurance Program for 2023 at the Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises.

According to the senator, 6 out 10 Filipinos die without ever seeing a doctor, while 99 percent of respondents in a 2019 survey said they could not buy all the medicines prescribed to them because they are too expensive.

Nationwide household out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare also amount to more than P400 billion annually, accounting for 44.7 percent of the country's total health expenditure.

"Hindi pwedeng walang matatakbuhan ang Pilipino, whether it's a health center, whether it's a private or public clinic, and ang nagbibigay ng lakas ng loob sa kanila will be their membership sa PhilHealth," Cayetano said.

The senator, who chairs the Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, said the Senate is willing to explore other possible sources of additional funding - such as revenue generated from excise taxes - to help PhilHealth fulfill its mandate without necessarily requiring the premium members to pay higher contributions.

PhilHealth monthly premiums are currently set at 4 percent for members earning a minimum of P10,000 up to an income ceiling of P80,000 per month, with premiums ranging from P400 to P3,200 monthly.

For 2023, the state health insurer is proposing a P100.233 billion government subsidy, which comprises the bulk of the proposed budget of the Department of Health for next year.

Clarifying that he is not looking to blame any PhilHealth official, Cayetano said he instead wants to know how lawmakers can help the public health insurer to better serve the Filipino people.

"We all know that there are gaps that need to be filled. We are here to listen to ideas, propose solutions, and work together for the good of all PhilHealth members and all Filipinos," Cayetano said. ####


Cayetano, hinimok ang gobyerno na tulungan ang PhilHealth na maabot ng serbisyong medikal ang lahat ng Pilipino

Nais ni Senador Alan Peter Cayetano na magtulungan ang Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) at ang buong gobyerno para maging mas accessible sa lahat ng Pilipino ang quality healthcare.

"Wala namang mag-a-argue na kapag ang Pilipino may sakit, kailangang ipagamot. The government is here to fill the gaps [in their basic needs] -- kaya nga tayo pinuno dahil pupunuan natin ang mga pagkukulang," wika ni Cayetano sa briefing ng PhilHealth tungkol sa National Health Insurance Program para sa 2023 sa Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises.

Ayon sa Senador, anim sa 10 Pilipino ang namamatay nang hindi man lang nakakapagpatingin sa doktor, habang ayon naman sa isang survey noong 2019, aabot sa 99 percent ng respondents ang nagsabing hindi sila makabili ng gamot dahil masyadong mahal.

Umaabot sa P400 bilyon taun-taon ang household out-of-pocket expenses ng pamilyang Pilipino sa buong bansa - 44.7 percent ng kabuuang health expenditure sa Pilipinas.

"Hindi pwedeng walang matatakbuhan ang Pilipino, whether it's a health center, whether it's a private or public clinic, and ang nagbibigay ng lakas ng loob sa kanila will be their membership sa PhilHealth," ani Cayetano.

Pahayag pa ng Committee Chairman, handa ang Senado na tulungan ang PhilHealth na humanap ng iba pang mapagkukunan ng pondo - tulad ng koleksyon mula sa excise tax - para maisagawa ang mga programa nito nang hindi tinataasan ang kontribusyon ng mga miyembro.

Apat na porsyento, o nasa P400-P3,200, ng kita ng mga miyembrong sumusweldo ng P10,000-P80,000 buwan-buwan ang hinuhulog nila sa PhilHealth premium.

P100.233 bilyon ang hinihinging pondo ng PhilHealth para sa 2023, na siyang pinakamalaking bahagi ng panukalang budget ng Department of Health para sa susunod na taon.

Paglilinaw ni Cayetano, hindi niya balak ibunton ang sisi sa mga opisyal ng PhilHealth. Sa halip, gusto ng mga mambabatas na tulungan ito na mapaglingkuran nang mas maayos ang taumbayan.

"We all know that there are gaps that need to be filled. We are here to listen to ideas, propose solutions, and work together for the good of all PhilHealth members and all Filipinos," aniya.