Automatic PhilHealth membership for PWDs up for President’s signature

All persons with disability (PWDs) will soon be provided with automatic health insurance once a bill seeking to amend Republic Act No. 7277, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Persons with Disability, will be signed into law.

The bill, also known as the Mandatory PhilHealth coverage for all Persons with Disability (PWDs), was transmitted to MalacaAang last January 24. It will automatically lapse into law within 30 days if the President fails to act on it.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, who shepherded the passage of the bill in the Senate, said the national government would shoulder the contributions for all PWDs unless the PWDs are working, in which case, the national government will share equal payments of the premium with the employer.

She said the funds necessary for the implementation of the act would be sourced from sin tax collection.

"PWDs are one of the most vulnerable segments of the population. It is doubly difficult when you have a disability and you become sick," she said.

Once approved into law, Hontiveros said PhilHealth would be required to develop exclusive packages for the PWDs, taking into account their specific health and development needs.

She said the approval of the bill will provide much needed aid to sustain PWDs medical needs, including treatments and medicines which they were compelled to take and undergo because of their disabilities and sickness.

Under the bill, the Department of Health (DOH), in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), the local government units (LGUs) and other concerned agencies shall conduct periodic monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the act.

The DOH shall also maintain an updated database on PWDs and their health and development needs.

Source: Senate of the Philippines