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PASIG CITY — Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Chairperson Anselmo Simeon P. Pinili signed the Joint Circular for Universal Health Care (UHC) Law on May 30, 2022 based on Republic Act 11223.
The charity agency held the signing ceremony at the 17th floor of Citystate Centre Building in Pasig City, Metro Manila.
With him are Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andrea D. Domingo, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) President and CEO Atty. Dante A. Gierran. Also present in the event are Officer-In-Charge Deputy Treasurer and PhilHealth Board Member Eduardo Anthony G. Mariño III, who represented Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, and Undersecretary Dr. Mario Villaverde on behalf of Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco T. Duque III.
In his message during the ceremony, Pinili highlighted the share of the agency, saying,
“Since the passage of Republic Act No. 11223 (UHC) Law in 2019, PCSO already earmarked 40% of its Net Charity Fund to help subsidize PhilHealth’s National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) benefits package. With our sustained funding support for ‘Malasakit’ Centers and the Universal Health Care, the PCSO Board hopes to make our State-run lotteries closer and relevant to the lives of Filipino people, in support of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s vision and initiatives to make ‘health for all Filipinos’ a reality.”
“We trust and hope that PhilHealth will diligently and work closely with PCSO in aligning the use of our Charity Fund to exclusively benefit our sick and financially challenged ‘Kababayan’ (countrymen) who are in need of hospital and medical care”, he added.
He also emphasized that playing lotto games brings more hope to the Filipinos, “Your 20 pesos bet is not a wager but a contribution for health programs of our ‘Kababayans.’ Sa PCSO ang bawat taya natin ay para sa kawanggawa.” (For the PCSO every beat we make is for charity.)
The UHC Law automatically enrolls all Filipino citizens, including Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in PhilHealth, which will have an expanded coverage of its health packages. Aligned with the policy of Duterte of promoting human development and poverty reduction, PCSO commended the approval of the UHC Law Remittance Guidelines which seeks to provide mechanisms for transparent, accountable, timely and sustainable fund provision for benefits of the NHIP.
Under R.A. No. 11223, Section 37-C, Forty (40%) of the Charity Fund, net of Documentary Stamp Tax Payments and mandatory contributions of the PCSO as provided for in Republic Act No. 1169, as amended: Provides that the funds raised for this purpose shall be remitted to the Bureau of Treasury at the end of each quarter subject to the usual budgeting, accounting, and auditing rules and regulations: Provided, further, that the funds shall be used by PhilHealth to improve its benefit packages; Provided finally, that the funds shall also be attributed as part of PCSO’s Gender Equality, Diversity and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) Program, subject to applicable rules and regulations of Rrepublic Act No. 9710 (Magna Carta for Women).
The Department of the Budget and Management (DBM) shall then release Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) and Notice of Cash Allocations (NCAs) based on the approved General Appropriations Act (GAA) while the Bureau of Treasury shall then release the Cash Requirements based on the NCA to PhilHealth.
For the period 2019 to December 31, 2021, the accumulated fund is equivalent to Php34.994 billion which shall be released to PhilHealth through the GAA of 2023 for the improvement of their health benefits and packages. Php1.66 billion of it is the share of PCSO for the share fund and shall remit to the Bureau of Treasury on a quarterly basis every 20th day of the month following the end of the quarter.
By 2023, the benefits to be improved are selected medical and surgical procedures, expansion of case rates for hemodialysis up to 156 sessions, enhancement of PhilHealth-Z benefit packages, which includes mandatory services for the totality of care that are essential for the treatment of the condition, hospital services such as accommodation, medicines, laboratories and professional fees and other services or alternative guideline recommendations that may be needed by the patient. Also included are orthopedic implants, post-kidney transplant, breast cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, open-heart surgery for children and physical medicine and rehabilitation. (PCSO Media/Jerwin P. Nohay /Justin B. Santos & Ericson L. Delos Reyes) — (✓)