A joint Senate committee hearing was held on 12 January 2011 to discuss the various bills proposing the establishment of a Philippine National Health Research System and its accompanying fund. Senator Bongbong Marcos emphasized the major role of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) in contributing to the national health research fund being studied by the Senate. Senator Bongbong took stock of the fact that Philhealth has vast cash resources, which makes it the more logical choice as the potential major contributor to the national research system.
Senator Marcos assured that Philhealth is not necessarily a “victim of its own success” since the fruits of the proposed national health research system would surely redound to the benefit of the primary government agency in charge of social health insurance of the Filipino people. With the billions of pesos in the bank accounts of PhilHealth, Senator Bongbong said that the proposed mandatory contribution of one percent (1%) of its gross annual revenue, estimated to be about P300 million, being proposed by the pending bills is just a drop in the bucket compared to the ocean of benefits that could flow out of the financially boosted national health research system, like valuable research on the viability of universal healthcare coverage and healthcare for the poor.