DBM OKs release of P25.16 B to PhilHealth

The Philippine Star

For insurance of 8 million poor Pinoys

MANIL, Philippines - The government has approved the release of P25.16 billion to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to cover the health insurance premiums of 8.38 million Filipino indigents for one year, according to the Department of Budget and Management.

DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman approved the special allotment release order (SARO) on Tuesday.

“President Marcos mandated his Cabinet to ensure that Filipinos are provided with affordable health care,” Pangandaman said.

Indigent persons are those who have no visible means of income or whose income is insufficient for family subsistence. The Department of Social Welfare and Development identified them based on specific criteria.

The funds will be sourced from authorized allotments under the General Appropriations Act.

Pangandaman said the COVID pandemic has shown the importance of a stable healthcare system and the need to make it accessible, especially to the poor.

On April 3, the DBM approved the release of P42.93 billion to cover the health insurance premiums of over 8.5 million senior citizens nationwide.

In December, the DBM released P2.02 billion to PhilHealth to cover the national government health insurance premium subsidy for indigent members.

The SARO covered the subsidy of the remaining 673,965 indigent members enrolled under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction from January to December 2022.

As of early December, the DBM released P79.93 billion through three separate SAROs for the subsidy, which corresponds to various billings for 2022.

The health insurance premiums of 21.16 million indirect contributors were covered by the allocation.

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