Support for the health sector, as it continues to address the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, accounts for the biggest share of the pie in the soon to be enacted Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.
Senate Committee on Finance chairman Sonny Angara explained that Bayanihan 2 was crafted primarily to ensure continuity in the government’s response to the pandemic so it was only natural for the health sector to receive a significant amount of funding.
A persistent lack of transparency and accountability has contributed to the financial troubles being faced by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Senator Sonny Angara said today.
Angara noted that the Commission on Audit (COA) issued a disclaimer of opinion for 2018 on the fairness of the presentation of PhilHealth’s financial statement due to questions about the benefits claims expense and doubts about the accuracy of the collections made by the corporation.
Senator Sonny Angara said today that immediate actions should be taken to plug the loopholes at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to stop the bleeding of the state health insurer.
During the Senate’s inquiry into the alleged widespread corruption within PhilHealth, a former anti-fraud officer of the corporation claimed that over P15 billion has been wasted or stolen over the years due to rampant questionable transactions facilitated by a syndicate.
The Senate has approved on third and final reading Senate Bill 1564 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2) to allow the government to continue its COVID-19 response and help the affected sectors in recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.
Senator Sonny Angara, the bill’s author and sponsor, said the Bayanihan 2 will effectively extend the validity of the government’s COVID-19 programs and interventions under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which lapsed last June 5, 2020.
Senator Sonny Angara is looking forward to hearing the administration’s plans for all the sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation Address this coming Monday.
With no end in sight with regard to the pandemic, Angara said it would be interesting to hear the government’s roadmap for the rest of the year and the year ahead.
Angara wants pandemics, epidemics and health emergencies included in primary and secondary education
Senator Sonny Angara is pushing for the inclusion of pandemics, epidemics and other health emergencies in the subjects for primary and secondary schools in the country.
Angara noted that the experience of the Philippines with the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on the behavior of many Filipinos in spite of the dangers on their health, leaves a lot to be desired.
Angara pushes for the registration and database of informal workers
To provide protection to the informal workers and to ensure they receive aid from the government in times of emergencies, Senator Sonny Angara is calling for the creation of a national database of all members of the informal economy.
With a lot of businesses now shifting to the online and digital platforms under the new normal, Senator Sonny Angara called on the different agencies of government to work together in preparing the Filipino workforce for the skills needed to secure these jobs.
A strong advocate of digital skills development for Filipinos, Angara said the global economy is rapidly changing and as a result, a lot of the traditional jobs are disappearing and new jobs are emerging that require, at the very least, some basic technological know-how.