The Manila Times : Marcos vows review of health care system

24 January 2022

By Bernadette E. Tamayo | The Manila Times

FORMER senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. vowed to reorganize the country's health care system if he wins the presidency in May.

The presidential candidate said he wants to ensure that "the dysfunctions that the country experienced during the pandemic will not be repeated in the future."

"After we cope with this [pandemic], let us revisit the system. Let us use our experience to fix it so that when another medical issue arises in the future we will be ready," Marcos said on Thursday.

In an online interview, he said that he was saddened when he saw medical practitioners walk out and organized a rally "because their special risk allowance was not given to them."

"If you ask me what are my plans if elected, the first thing we have to fix is the health care system because we saw what was lacking during the pandemic and among those were the benefits of our nurses," he said.

Marcos said the government did what it can to alleviate the situation, but it can only do so much "because nobody saw it coming."

"Nayanig ang lahat dahil sa pandemya (Everyone was taken aback due to the pandemic)," he said.

"There were a lot of problems, especially in terms of funding. We always try to find ways to generate funds, but let's hope that those were used properly," Marcos said.

He said the questionable transfer of the funds from different agencies, the fund management problems in PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corp.) and in the Department of Health, "those things should have been avoided."

"And this will happen again if we don't fix the system," Marcos said. "We have to rationalize, if you think about it, IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) is an ad hoc organization that was just put together somehow in a hurry to try to respond to Covid-19."

"Now it seems that we will overcome this, and when we do, let us organize and put up a structure that will be ready to respond," Marcos said.

He said frontliners should have strong support from the government, "not only financially but also morally so that they will understand that we appreciate and recognize their work."