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Duterte signs law requiring PhilHealth coverage for all PWDs

MANILA — President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed into law a measure that provides mandatory PhilHealth coverage for all persons with disabilities (PWDs).

Duterte signed Republic Act 11228 on Feb. 22 but a copy of which was released to media on Monday (March 4).

Under the law “all persons with disability (PWDs) shall be automatically covered under the National health Insurance Program (NHIP) of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)”.

“The PhilHealth shall develop exclusive packages for PWDs that will address their specific health and development needs,” the law reads.

Periodic monitoring and evaluation of the law should be conducted by the Department of Health (DOH), in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), the local government units (LGUs) and other relevant government agencies and non-government organizations.

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

Meanwhile, the LGUs, the PhilHealth, the NCDA, and other relevant government agencies are directed to submit their data on PWDs to the DOH.

Concerned agencies should promulgate the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) within three months upon effectivity of the act.

The law shall take effect 15 days from its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

This law is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 1391 and House Bill No. 8014 which was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on Dec. 10, 2018.

Duterte earlier signed the Universal Healthcare program, which automatically enroll all Filipinos under the government’s health insurance program on February 20.

He also signed the Expanded Maternity Leave that extends the maternity leave of female workers in the country from 60 to 105 days with full pay the following day. Azer Parrocha /

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