MANILAMalacaAang on Thursday welcomed the move of the Senate and the House of Representatives to ratify the bicameral conference committee report on the HIV/AIDS Policy Act, which seeks to strengthen government measures on the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque described this development as a significant milestone as it aims to provide better access to HIV services including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
The Philippines made a significant milestone when the Senate and the House of Representatives ratified the Bicameral Conference Committee Report on the bill which aims to strengthen the existing policy on HIV/AIDS prevention in the country, Roque said in a press statement.
It may be recalled that Roque was the principal author of House Bill No. 253 when he was a member of Congress.
Roque noted that the new measure amends The Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998, stressing that it was about time for an updated policy aimed at preventing HIV/AIDS.
The alarming rise in HIV/AIDS cases underscores the need for a comprehensive and updated legal framework addressing HIV and AIDS, Roque said.
Roque said once passed into law, there will no longer be any Filipinos who will be denied HIV/AIDS services from the government.
We can look forward to a society that is empowered to prevent, not only the spread of the disease, but also the stigma that comes with it, he added.
He added that the measure would strengthen the Universal Health Care (UHC) given that the UHC covers preventive health services.
On Wednesday, President Rodrigo R. Duterte certified the UHC Bill as urgent after the Senate approved its version of the landmark measure on third and final reading.
The measure automatically enrolls all Filipino citizens, including overseas Filipino workers, into the PhilHealth, whether as direct contributor (those who have the capacity to pay premiums) or indirect contributor (those sponsored by the government like the indigents, senior citizens, among others).
For indirect contributors, premium subsidy shall be included annually in the General Appropriations Act. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency