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AnaKalusugan, 2 labor groups forge alliance to push for health initiatives
AnaKalusugan Party-list has forged a strategic alliance agreement with two major labor groups in a bid to push for health initiatives that will benefit workers and farmers, among others, especially amid the economic pressures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our workers are economic frontliners, too. We need to ensure they get the health benefits due them,” said Anakalusugan nominee Ray Reyes. Reyes, along with fellow AnaKalusugan nominee Ray Roquero, signed the strategic alliance accord with the the Workers and Peasants Party (Labor Party of the Philippines), represented by its president Manny Lopez and vice president Ibrahim Albano, and the Angat Ahon Magsasaka Inc., represented by its president Carlo Batalla.
“We need to provide health services to our workers, especially to our farmers. If we can ensure their health, we can ensure food security for the entire country,” Reyes added. Roquero, for his part, said AnaKalusugan has been very active in pushing for pieces of legislation that will promote and protect the health of all Filipinos, especially laborers.
“AnaKalusugan has proven itself in Congress, having pushed for over 80 bills, including those for pandemic responses Bayanihan 1 and 2,” he said.
“We will continue pushing for measures that we have spearheaded in Congress, including free medical checkups and the removal of value added tax on maintenance medicines. These health expenses are something that our workers can ill-afford,” Roquero added.
Filipino households still bear the most of the spending burden for healthcare as private out-of-pocket spending accounted to almost 48 percent of the total health expenditures in 2019, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed. The number is expected to be even higher with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.