MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III on Monday said some 14.7 million families received free health coverage from the government through the two laws he had openly supported.
“Bukod po sa makabuluhang serbisyong mula sa ehekutibo, nakipag-ambagan na rin ang lehislatura upang maisabatas ang Sin Tax Reform Law at ang Responsible Parenthood Law na nagbibigay kakayahan sa atin na lalong magbigay-lingap sa ating mga kababayan,” Aquino said during the launch of the Alaga Ka Program, an advocacy campaign meant to spread information about the expanded health coverage, at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.
Aquino signed both the Sin Tax Reform and Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Acts in December 2012. Both were certified as urgent by the President.
Under the Sin Tax Reform Act, 85 percent of the tax revenues will go toward the health budget. From that, 80 percent will be funneled to the Universal Health Care Program, and 20 percent will go toward health facilities enhancements.
Using these funds and provisions in the RH law assuring health benefits for the poor, the government expanded from 5 million to 14.7 million the indigent families with access to primary healthcare services.
“Tunay pong malayo na ang ating narating mula nang tahakin natin ang tuwid na daan, at isa po ang sektor ng kalusugan sa tumatamasa ng positibong bunga nito,” Aquino said.
He added that aside from building and renovating health facilities, the government said they have deployed thousands of doctors nurses, midwives, and health teams to far-flung areas to provide healthcare.
“Patuloy tayong kakayod upang hindi na kailanganin pa ng mga kababayan natin sa liblib na lugar ang kilo-kilometrong paglalakad bago makarating ng ospital. Patuloy tayong magsusulong ng mga serbisyo, hindi lang para sumigla ang mga pamayanan ngayon, kundi upang maitaguyod din ang maayos na buhay at kinabukasan ng ating mamamayan,” he said. (MNS)