Presidential aspirant Senator Manny Pacquiao said he will push for free PhilHealth coverage for all college students under his administration.
In a GMA News report, Pacquiao said “the PhilHealth coverage should be free. Billions of pesos were allotted to PhilHealth, only to be stolen. No one was even jailed.”
He added that “college students should not be required to pay but the government should shoulder their coverage. If I were to become president, they will not pay any fee, the government will take care of it.”
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases earlier said it is requiring college students to be enrolled in PhilHealth coverage as more colleges and universities start holding face-to-face classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Pacquiao said “I am really angry at PhilHealth following the incident where lots, billions of money were lost. Why am I angry at the PhilHealth anomaly? Because PhilHealth is not for the rich. PhilHealth was created for the poor, for those who live from hand to mouth, those who can’t afford it. Then government officials will steal?”
The’ IATF said under its policy, “students who are younger than 21 are dependents of parents who are PhilHealth members.”
A PhilHealth member who has a job and a salary must provide a contribution of P300 per month.
Pacquiao meanwhile said he will attend the Commission on Elections (Comelec) presidential and vice-presidential town hall debates if his rival Ferdinand Marcos Jr. would also attend.
The Comelec said that the vice-presidential and presidential town hall debates scheduled for April 23 and 24, 2022, respectively, had been rescheduled to April 30 and May 1.