CHIZ INCLUDES FUNDING FOR SENIOR CITIZENS’ PHILHEALTH COVERAGE IN 2015 BUDGET
Senator Chiz Escudero allocates specific fund for the mandatory PhilHealth coverage of all senior citizens under the 2015 spending package, after the Senate passed a bill seeking automatic health insurance coverage of elderly persons.
Escudero, chairman of the Senate finance committee, voted last week in favor of Senate Bill No. 712 which provides for the mandatory PhilHealth coverage to all senior citizens. Whether the House of Representatives approves the bill or not, Escudero would include funding for this in next year’s budget.
“Without prejudice to our counterparts in Congress, PhilHealth’s 2015 budget will feature an amount to cover the premiums of all senior citizens. We will not wait for the approval of the counterpart measure of this bill in the House; it could take a longer while before this gets funded so we might as well appropriate funds now,” Escudero explained.
SBN 712’s author Sen. Ralph Recto said PhilHealth has some P116 billion in reserves and has fiscal room to absorb the coverage of senior citizens’ health insurance.
According to Escudero, the same has been done for all barangay officials in the country for 2015 to include them under the National Health Insurance Program through PhilHealth benefits.
Escudero puts a special provision in the PhilHealth budget to include an amount intended to cover the premium of barangay officials who are not yet enrolled in the government health insurance program. /MP