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P8.8B set aside for universal health care

THE Cebu Provincial Government has been allocated P4.2 billion in 2020 and P4.6 billion for 2021 for the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law.

Cebu Board Members Glenn Soco, Ismael “Jimbo” Borgonia, Jose Mari “Tata” Salvador and Raul D. Bacaltos told Cebu Business Week that all these UHC funds are embedded in the P12.5 Billion 2020 annual budget and P15 billion 2021 annual budget.

However, Cebu Capitol has not yet informed the public on how the P4.2 billion for 2020 was used, especially that the law provides that all Filipino citizens must be members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth), and must avail the health benefits provided for by this law.

Despite that Cebu is one of the five pilot provinces in the country to implement the UHC Law, Philhealth 7 is still holding office from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm, instead of maximizing its public service.

Meanwhile, while the Senate continues its hearing on the national COVID-19 vaccination program, Senator Richard J. Gordon last January 15, 2021 pointed out that implementing the UHC Law would ensure speedy and organized roll out of the vaccination program, .

Gordon said that the UHC mandates that every Filipino shall register with a public or private primary care provider of choice, adding that it would be easier to distribute the vaccine if they are registered with their primary care providers.

“The UHC law provides that every Filipino shall register with public or private primary care provider of choice. It is the duty of every Filipino to register. We must implement it because that is what the law provides,” he said.

The senator said the Department of Health should endeavor to contact private, province-wide and city-wide health care systems for the delivery of population-based health services, as mandated by the UHC law. PR/ELIAS O. BAQUERO