COTABATO CITY ― Different groups backed BTA Bill No. 24, with the hope that the proposed Bangsamoro Health Care Subsidy Program will address the healthcare needs of those directly affected by conflict and human rights violations in the region.
In the first round of public consultation conducted today, October 26, heads, commanders, and representatives from the health sector, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and other key stakeholders in Maguindao del Norte and del Sur, Cotabato City, and the BARMM Special Geographic Area have gathered to voice their positions for the proposed measure.
Dr. Ibrahim Pangato Jr.,
Cotabato Sanitarium’s chief of hospital, has lauded the efforts of the Bangsamoro Parliament for drafting a measure that acknowledges the sacrifices made by those who dedicated their lives to the Bangsamoro struggle.
BTA Bill No. 24 forms an integral part of Deputy Speaker Atty. Laisa Alamia’s proposed transitional justice and reconciliation legislative package. It is designed to provide a comprehensive framework for addressing the health needs of conflict-affected individuals in the region.
Atty. Alamia explained that the proposed Bangsamoro Health Care Subsidy Program has five key components:
• a health card system that will provide cardholders with subsidized health care services;
• a network of institutional health care providers established by the Bangsamoro Government;
• a system, in view of public-private collaboration, of contracting private health care facilities to join the network guided by a fair and equitable expense-sharing scheme;
• a multi-sectoral and progressive effort to improve the public health facilities in the region; and
• sustainable funding through earmarked revenues.
The program, she added, is also part of the Bangsamoro government’s commitment to the region’s shared and progressive pursuit of transitional justice, reconciliation, and healing.
It will cover four sectors: former combatants, dependents or survivors of former combatants, victims of human rights violations, and individuals displaced in the BARMM due to armed conflict.
The Ministry of Health will supervise the implementation of the program, ensuring its provision, maintenance, and funding.
If enacted, BTA Bill No. 24 is expected to improve the health care system in the region, COH Chair Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr. said.
Alamia said that passing the bill would make basic healthcare services accessible through both private and public institutions with the assistance of the Bangsamoro government.
She also mentioned that the bill takes a multisectoral approach, considering disadvantaged and underprivileged communities and the various ways to bring healthcare services closer to them.
Two more rounds of public consultations are scheduled for next year in Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)