Manila Standard Today - Health coverage for village execs

News & Interviews
4 January 2016

By Macon Ramos-Araneta | Manila Standard Today

Featured-image-Manila-Standard-Today.jpgSenator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday urged the government to give health insurance to barangay officials now that the funds for the benefit are already available.

He said the financial requirements for health insurance can be taken from the huge “sin tax” collections.

One of the purposes of Republic Act 10351 or the Sin Tax Reform Act of 2012 that took effect on Jan. 1, 2013 is to bankroll the government’s universal health program, Marcos said.

The health insurance entitlement of barangay officials is mandated under Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991.

“Since the enactment of the Local Government Code, not a single barangay official has been covered by health insurance. The government said it has no money, but that was before,” he said.

The latest data from the Bureau of Internal Revenue said in the first 10 months of 2015 alone, the taxes collected from tobacco and alcohol “sin” products reached P105.5 billion. For the same period in 2014, the collection was P86.5 billion.

“The government cannot argue anymore that there are no funds. There is funding. It’s in the law that barangay officials be given this benefit and it should be followed,” he said.