Senator Panfilo M, Lacson lamented Wednesday the failure of the Department of Health (DOH) to finish its operational guidelines that would give the go signal for the Bureau of Treasury (BTr) to remit P17.7 billion for the Universal Health Care (UHC) law.

lacson2 1 - Lacson laments DOH’s failure to finish UHC guidelines delays Treasury’s release of P17.7 B for health care
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson (SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

‘’Naghinayang ako sa P17 billion kasi,’’ Lacson said during his interpellation on the budget for the UHC in today’s deliberation on the 2021 P4.5 trillion General Appropriation Bill. (I feel sad because the amount involved is P17 billion.)         

Under Section 37 of the UHC law, 50 percent of the national government share from income of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) and 40 percent from charity fund of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) collections shall be used as sources of funds in the implementation of UHC program.         

In 2019, Pagcor remitted P35.46 billion via BTr, 50 percent is P17.73 billion.    

 ‘’DOH is the one in charge in issuing the operational guidelines. That’s why BTr cannot yet remit P17.73 B, that’s only for Pagcor. Malaki rin ito, P17 billion, sayang. Walang nire-remit kasi walang guidelines. They are waiting for DOH to finish the operational guidelines so they can remit the amount for UHC,’’ he said. (P17 billion is a big sum. it could not be touched. The fund cannot be remitted for lack of guidelines.)        

Lacson said the P17.7 billion represents the government’s share from Pagcor’s remittance in 2019.       

Because of the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Lacson said government’s share from Pagcor in 2020 would be less.

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