Duterte signs Universal Healthcare Law, other measures
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday signed several laws, including the Universal Healthcare Law which he said will make a “positive impact” to the Filipino people.
“The Universal Healthcare Law that I signed today will guarantee equitable access and affordable healthcare to all Filipinos,” Duterte said in his speech after the signing ceremony.
“By automatically (enrolling) our citizens into the National Health Insurance Program and expanding PhilHealth coverage to include free medical consultations and laboratory tests,” he said.
This is an act instituting universal health care for all Filipinos prescribing reforms in the health care system and appropriating funds therefore. This law ensures that all Filipinos are guaranteed equitable access to quality and affordable health goods and services.
It is also a protection against financial risks through a systemic approach in roles of key agencies and stakeholders towards better performance in the health care system.
Other laws signed were the Revised Corporation Code; Presentation of Redistricting Southern Leyte Act; Social Security Act of 2018; Philippines Sports Training Center Act; Amendments to the New Central Bank Act; and turnover of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Dividends.
On the Revised Corporation Code,Duterte said it “seeks to simplify corporate governance standards and establish a more business friendly environment that will enable corporations and other juridical entities to thrive”.
It aims to improve ease of doing business in the country by allowing a one-person corporation, removing the minimum capital requirement and providing for perpetual existence of a corporation.
It will also strengthen corporate governance standards and provide protection to minority stockholders by requiring, among others, corporations vested with public interest to have independent directors.
Duterte said the Social Security Act of 2018 is one of the two legislative measures signed that will benefit the poor.
“The Social Security Act of 2018 also expands the investing capacity of the Social Security Commission, enabling the SSS to generate better income for members and pensioners,” he said.
It aims to strengthen the pension fund through the implementation of the gradual increase on monthly contributions from the current 11 percent to an additional of one percentage point starting on the year of implementation until it reaches 15 percent in 2025, and the gradual adjustment of the minimum and maximum monthly salary credit.
It will ensure the social security of the growing number of Filipinos outside the country as it provides for the mandatory SSS coverage of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
Meanwhile, the Amendment to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Charter would strengthen the BSP’s financial stability and grant it more flexibility in the exercise of its regulatory powers.
“The amendment comes at a fitting time when the BSP is remitting to the national government partial dividends amounting to 4 billion pesos. This will come a long way (in) funding priority programs of the administration,” said Duterte.
On the Philippine Sports Training Center Act, Duterte said this would establish a center for athletic development that will help maximize the competitiveness of our local athletes.
The measure requires the construction of necessary sports facilities and amenities within 18 months in a location suitable and conducive to high-level training of athletes, coaches and referees.
Duterte said one of the eventful measures signed was the reapportioning of Leyte as this will end the communal wars in the province.
“Lastly, the Act Reapportioning the Province of Southern Leyte will help ensure an even more adequate representation in Congress, enabling us to address the needs of the constituents from the two other legislative districts,” he said.
“And hopefully to promote peace and order in that province,” he added referring to the incident of shooting down a helicopter in the province.
Southern Leyte will now have two members of the House of Representative after the signing of the law.
Duterte hopes thee Congress will continue to be the administration’s steadfast partner in enacting laws that will significantly improve the lives of the people, especially those who need it.
“Let us all work together in enabling our countrymen to lead more meaningful, productive, peaceful and prosperous lives that we all deserve,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS