Chichi Conde, InterAksyon.com
MANILA, Philippines — The Aquino administration has released P5 billion to cover back payments of the national government’s counterpart for health insurance premiums of indigent families from 2007 to 2010.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the fund partly covers the P6.5 billion in unpaid obligations of the previous administration to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.
The remaining balance of P1.5 billion will be released within the year, Abad said.
“Universal healthcare coverage for all, especially for the poor and the vulnerable, is a priority of President Benigno Aquino III. To ensure the integrity of the healthcare fund for indigent Filipinos, we have to settle the obligations left unpaid in the previous administration,” Abad said.
From 2007 to 2010, the past administration remitted only P3.85 billion to PhilHealth out of the P10.35 billion counterpart payment it must shoulder.
“The non-payment of past obligations is one issue. The question as to whether PhilHealth support recipients are really indigent households is another. Under the Aquino administration, we will make sure that the program will only be used for the healthcare of the poor, and not for the political agenda of a few,” Abad added.
For 2011, the government has allotted P3.5 billion for the National Health Insurance Program.
The amount will cover health protection for 4.7 million indigent families.
On top of this, 1.4 million informal households will also be covered by the program under the government’s National Household Targeting System.
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