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Legarda: Better Healthcare for Government Employees Under 2018 Budget

January 19, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda today said that all employees under the Executive Branch of the Government will receive healthcare benefits comparable to the health insurance plans currently enjoyed by employees of the Legislative Branch.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that the amount of Php3.5 Billion was allocated under the budget of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to cover the cost of supplemental health benefits, which shall cover services ranging from preventive and curative, inpatient and outpatient, and other medical expenses in excess of contributions-based case rates.

“Government workers in the Executive currently have the standard PhilHealth coverage for hospitalization. However, they shell out for check-up, laboratory procedures, and other preventive healthcare procedures—expenses that are already covered in the healthcare plans of employees of the Senate and House of Representatives. There should be parity with the healthcare benefits extended to all government employees. This will now happen through PhilHealth Plus,” Legarda said.

“The Department of Health (DOH), PhilHealth and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) should expedite the drafting and finalization of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of PhilHealth Plus so that the budget can be utilized the soonest time possible,” she added.

The Senator also said that offices that have fiscal autonomy, such as the Judiciary Department, Legislative Department, the Commission on Audit (COA), Commission on Elections (COMELEC), Civil Service Commission (CSC), and the Office of the Ombudsman, are also authorized to use their respective budgets to pay for supplemental health benefits for their employees through PhilHealth. She added that Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), Government Financial Institutions (GFIs), and Local Government Units (LGUs) are likewise authorized to avail of the same coverage.

Legarda noted that, in the event that the actual cost of availment exceeds the amount of appropriated, the same shall be augmented from the savings of the national government or shall be recognized as account payable to PhilHealth.

She also said that all Filipinos are already covered by PhilHealth, which means those not yet registered in PhilHealth will be automatically made a member upon availing of any healthcare service in a public hospital.

“The health of our people deserves to be on top of the priorities of government. What is crucial now is to make these healthcare benefits known by the people, especially the poorest households who are the intended beneficiaries. The more we invest on the health of our people, the greater we nurture the future of our country,” Legarda concluded.