DBM releases P5 billion for health insurance program

MANILA–The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P5 billion to cover the national governments’ counterpart for health insurance premiums of indigents from 2007 to 2010, which were left unpaid by the Arroyo administration.

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said that the release partly fulfils the P6.5-billion unpaid obligations of the previous administration to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC). The remaining balance of P1.5 billion is scheduled for release later.

“Universal healthcare coverage for all, especially for the poor and the vulnerable, is a priority of President Aquino. To ensure the integrity of the healthcare fund for indigent Filipinos, we have to settle the obligations left unpaid in the previous administration,” he said.

The national government only remitted P3.85 billion to the PHIC from 2007 to 2010, but the supposed total counterpart payment was P10.35 billion.

The Commission on Audit has said that the non-payment of these obligations will adversely affect PHIC in the long run, Abad noted.

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