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Release of P25.16-B for 8.4M indigents’ health insurance OK’d

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) will receive around PHP25.16 billion for the one-year health insurance premiums of more than 8 million Filipino indigents, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) stated Thursday.

This was after Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman gave the green light to release PHP25,157,547,000 to cover the insurance premiums of 8,385,849 qualified indigents enrolled in PhilHealth.

Pangandaman approved the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) on Tuesday.

According to the DBM, the authorized allotments in the 2023 General Appropriations Act would be used to fund the approved fund.

According to Pangandaman, the fund release is part of the Marcos administration’s initiative to offer Filipinos affordable healthcare.

She added that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. ordered his Cabinet to ensure Filipinos can access cheap health care.

“Pinamulat sa atin ng pandemya ang kahalagahan ng mas matatag na health care system, kaya’t pinagsisikapan po natin na ilapit ito sa ating mga kababayan, lalong-lalo na po sa mga higit na nangangailangan (The pandemic has shown us the importance of a better health care system. We are working to open it up to more of our citizens, especially the less fortunate.

The state insurer is mandated to administer the National Health Insurance Program, which aims to provide health insurance coverage and ensure affordable, acceptable, available, and accessible health care services for all Filipinos.

In February 2019, former president Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11223, or the Universal Health Care Act, making all Filipino citizens automatically enrolled in the government’s insurance program.

On its official website, PhilHealth notes that destitute persons have no apparent means of income or whose income is insufficient for family subsistence, as defined by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), based on particular criteria.

The program will automatically enroll and cover all impoverished people recognized by the DSWD using the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction and other authorized techniques.

PHP42,931,355,000 was released in April with DBM approval to pay for the one-year health insurance premiums of more than 8.5 million senior citizens nationwide.

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