Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said that additional P3 billion was allocated to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to ensure coverage for all Filipinos.
"The Department of Health (DOH) said there are some eight million Filipinos still not covered by PhilHealth. It is our duty, in serving the public, to extend basic healthcare protection to all our people. That is why we pushed for the augmentation of the PhilHealth's budget so that in 2017 we achieve universal healthcare coverage," said Legarda.
The Senator explained that universal healthcare coverage means that any non-member of PhilHealth will automatically be made a member upon availment of healthcare service in a public hospital.
Moreover, indigent patients will not pay for anything in government hospitals under the No Balance Billing (NBB) as mandated under the Amended National Health Insurance Act (Republic Act 10606), which Legarda principally authored.
The proposed 2017 General Appropriations Act (GAA) worth P3.350 trillion has been approved by both the Senate and House of Representatives and is expected to be signed by the President before Christmas.