May 27, 2024

The city council has authorized the city treasurer and the mayor to open a bank account with the Development Bank of the Philippines for the Universal Health Care-Special Health Fund (UHC-SHF).
The opening of a SHF bank account is pursuant to Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act.
The council gave its authorization through a resolution, which provides signatories of the said account will be the city treasurer, the mayor, and the city administrator.
In Section 20 of the implementing rules and regulations of the UHC, an SHF will be established where all resources intended for health services are pooled and managed including financial grants and subsidies from national government agencies, income from PhilHealth, and other sources such as, but not limited to, financial grants and donations from non-government organizations, faith-based organizations, and official development assistance.
The SHF will be used in financing population-based and individual-based health services. It will also be used to cover operating costs, capital investments, and remuneration and incentives for all health workers.
The Local Health Board assumes the responsibility of managing the SHF, thus having the authority to determine and approve the use of the pooled resources, as the law provides.
Councilor Joel Alangsab, author of the resolution, is also the main proponent of the Universal Health Care Ordinance of Baguio.
In 2021, the city council approved the ordinance institutionalizing the UHC in Baguio as well as prescribing reforms in the city’s health care system.
The Department of Health chose Baguio City in 2019 as a site for the advance implementation of the UHC.
Institutionalization and localization of the UHC will enhance implementation of the Universal Health Care Act.
The ordinance will also tailor-fit UHC programs to the specific needs of the local government unit, Alangsab added.
The UHC will integrate all health systems in the city to ensure effective, efficient, and affordable delivery health services adhering to a framework that “fosters a whole-of-system, whole-of-government, whole-of-society, and people-oriented approaches.”
One complication that the UHC seeks to address is the fragmentation of the country’s current health system, particularly the fragmented health financing mechanism, resulting in health inefficiencies and health inequities. – Jordan G. Habbiling