The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday, November 19, approved a $600-million loan for the Philippines’ universal health care (UHC) reform program.
Proceeds of the loan will be for financing and delivery of health services and implementing measures to monitor performance of health service providers.
In addition to the loan, the ADB will administer a $2-million technical assistance grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction to support the implementation of health policy reforms in local government units.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted existing constraints in the country’s healthcare service delivery, which the government sought to address in its pandemic health response. This program seeks to boost the government’s ability to achieve its UHC goals and provide timely and equitable healthcare services, especially for the poor and marginalized across the country,” said Ayako Inagaki, ADB director of human and social development for Southeast Asia.
Moreover, the latest funding supports existing grants and programmed loans, including:
- A $500-million loan for disaster resilience and improvement
- A $125-million loan for improving the country’s healthcare system to address COVID-19
- A $400-million loan for COVID-19 vaccines
- A $3-million grant for a COVID-19 testing laboratory in San Fernando City, Pampanga
In 2019, the Philippines enacted the UHC law, ideally for Filipinos to have equitable access to health services. All Filipinos are automatically included in the national health insurance program. – Rappler.com