Universal Health Care Act and the New Social Security Act, two laws principally authored by Ralph and Vilma Santos-Recto in the Senate & House of Reps (photos from Malacanang)
President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday signed into law the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act and the New Social Security Act of 2018, two laws both principally authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto in the Senate, and Lipa Congresswoman Vilma Santos-Recto in the House of Representatives.
Under the new UHC law, all Filipinos shall automatically be enrolled in PhilHealth, either as direct or indirect contributors, and they will be eligible and have access to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care for medical, dental, mental and emergency health services, including out-patient drugs.
Improved benefit packages will reduce their out-of-pocket expenses, while public health facilities and the entire health system will also be improved.
Since all Filipinos will now be automatically Philhealth members, we made sure that paying members will continue to contribute to the fund and support the Philhealth operations by providing them additional benefits as incentive for the increase in their premium rate. The additional benefits will incentivize those who pay higher premiums and will encourage those who are voluntarily paying to keep contributing.
To mitigate fraud through false claims which bleed the Philhealth fund, we have also increased the penalties for erring Philhealth employees, imposing the same penalties with those of colluding healthcare providers.
Meanwhile, the New SSS Act takes a pro-member stance by limiting the power of the SSS Commission to increase the rate of contribution and adjust the minimum and maximum salary credit.
A new scheme is introduced in which contributions, on top of the regular social security pension fund, shall accrue to a provident fund.
The SSS member is given the option to voluntarily contribute to a provident fund, which shall be tax-free.
The law also allows kasambahays, whose actual monthly income is lower than the minimum salary credit, to contribute based on their actual monthly salary.
It also grants unemployment or involuntary separation benefits to a member.
The new law also removes the presidential authority to approve matters pertaining to the day-to-day operations of the SSS.