SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives ratified the bicameral conference committee report on the consolidation of House Bill 8014 and Senate Bill 1391, seeking to provide for the mandatory PhilHealth coverage for all persons with disability (PWDs).
The ratified measure seeks to amend Title 2, Chapter 3 of Republic Act No. 7277, as amended, otherwise known as the “Magna Carta for Persons with Disability.”
The amendment provides for the addition of a new section denominated as Section 20-A of RA 7277. The new section entitled “Mandatory PhilHealth Coverage” provides that all persons with disability (PWDs) shall be automatically covered under the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
Premium contributions for all PWDs shall be paid by the national government. The premium contributions of PWD members in the formal economy shall be shared equally by their employers and the national government.
Moreover, the funds necessary for the effective implementation of the Act shall be sourced 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 by amending Sections 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 8, 131, and 288 of Republic Act No. 8424, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended by RA No. 9334, and for other purposes” in accordance with pertinent laws and regulations.
The PhilHealth shall develop exclusive packages for PWDs that will address their specific health and development needs.
The reconciled bill also provides that the Department of Health (DOH), in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), the local government units (LGUs), other relevant government agencies and nongovernment organizations, shall conduct a periodic monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the Act.
Towards this end, the DOH shall maintain an updated database on PWDs and their health and development needs. The LGUs, PhilHealth, NCDA, and other relevant government agencies shall be directed to submit their data on PWDs to the DOH.
The PhilHealth, in consultation with the DOH, DSWD, DOLE, NCDA, and various national leagues of LGUs, shall promulgate the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRRs) within three months upon the effectivity of the Act.
House Bill 8014 is principally authored by Rep. Micaela Violago (2nd District, Nueva Ecija) while Senate Bill 1391 is principally authored by Sen. Loren Legarda.
The House conferees were Rep. Sandra Eriguel, M. D. (2nd District, La Union) as Chairperson and Reps. Violago and Alfredo Garbin, Jr. (Party-list, AKO Bicol). The Senate conferees were Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito as Chairperson, and Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara and Risa Hontiveros. | Rowena B. Bundang