The Department of Finance (DOF) assured that the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) law will not be affected by the government’s increasing expenditures for coronavirus treatment.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the Duterte administration has proposed P80 billion for indirect paying members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) whose contributions are paid for by government.

“We are committed for the successful implementation of the Universal Health Care plan. Again, for 2022, we propose an allocation of P80 billion for the premium subsidies for the indirect contributors, under the UHC law,” Dominguez told reporters.

Moreover, Dominguez said PhilHealth also has P164 billion in reserve funds as of June 2021.

“The UHC will not be compromised by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the finance chief assured.

In 2019, President Duterte on signed Republic Act No. 11223, or the UHC law, that aims to provide health care coverage for all Filipinos.

Funds for UHC will be pooled from the incremental sin tax collections from cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, charity fund from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), and income from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR).

The health insurance coverage also relies on premium contribution of members, annual appropriations of the Department of Health (DOH), and government subsidy to PhilHealth.

In addition, some revenue collected from Philippine offshore gaming operations is also earmarked for the implementation of the UHC law.

Source: Manila Bulletin (