Youth staged support to UHC in Senate; Social Watch PH proposed amendments and new provisions | 8 Aug 2018
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·THURSDAY, AUGUST 9, 2018
Youth staged support to UHC in Senate; SWP proposed amendments and new provisions
“Rich in, poor out.” This was the scenario staged by the group of Social Watch Philippines Youth (SWP Youth) in the gates of the Senate of the Philippines in support for the immediate passage of the people-centered #UniversalHealthCare (UHC).
The theatrical display showed the real scenario in the hospitals where poor patients who cannot afford to pay medical services were rejected while those who can were treated like VIPs.
Social Watch Philippines (SWP), a coalition of civic society organizations which advocates for the passage of a people-centered UHC, submitted their proposed amendments and new provisions to Senate Bill 1896 or the Universal Health Care for All Filipinos to the office of the senators yesterday.
The group identifies around 20 proposed amendments and new provisions to the law, with the main proposal of making UHC bill people-centered and work to strengthen the public health care system. The proposed amendments and provisions include ways of financing health care, service delivery networks which will provide access to health services, development of health workers, transparency and accountability in the health system.
Meanwhile, as part of the proposals, the group calls for the deletion of the appropriations provision which states that financing for UHC should come, among others, from “Total sin tax collections as provided for in Republic Act No. 10351 or the Sin Tax Law; provided, that the mandated earmarks as provided for in RA Nos. 7171 and 8240 shall be retained.”
“While we agree that fragmented resources for health should be pooled for better access and efficiency of health service provision, we believe that the current purpose of the sin tax collections should remain as is, as there are other equally important social services that get funding from it. SWP Co-convenor Dr. Ma. Victoria “Marivic” Raquiza said.
The total sin tax collections go to the overall national budget which fund other equally important social services.
The incremental revenues from the sin tax law of 2012 are earmarked particularly for UHC and tobacco growing regions. “We have been telling legislators about the need to increase tobacco tax instead, for two reasons: UHC needs more resources in order for it to happen, and that the tobacco tax increase will prevent around 200,000 Filipinos from starting to smoke annually,” Dr. Raquiza added.
The group calls on the legislators to scrutinize every provision of the bill to ensure that the UHC bill which the Senate promised to pass by September will benefit the poor and socially excluded. ###
#UHCLawNow #SayYesToUHC #TaxTobaccoToTheMaxNow #TaxTobaccototheMax4UHC
Social Watch Philippines (SWP) is a network of over a hundred civil society organizations and individuals engaged in research and lobby efforts in holding the government accountable for the fulfillment of national, regional and international commitments to eradicate poverty and carry out social, economic, and gender justice. SWP promotes people-centered sustainable development by proactively monitoring the progress and delivery of social commitments forged by the government and influencing the outcomes of policy decisions through citizen's participation in public finance.
Isagani R Serrano Marivic Raquiza Jeck Reyes-Cantos Rene Raya Janet Crndng Mars Mendoza Sheic Sims Dhel Lubyo AKTIB Philippines Carol Claudio Tax Tobacco to the Max Elijah San Fernando RoseAnn Batuigas Maria Fatima Villena Ralph Emerson Degollacion Jillian Roque
SWP appeals to Pres. Duterte to strongly push for mandatory participatory mechanisms in the Budget Reform Bill
Social Watch PH calls Pres. Duterte to certify max increase of tobacco sin tax bill as urgent legislation like UHC