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In the middle of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the province of South Cotabato held a ceremonial signing of the Universal Health Care memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Provincial Government of South Cotabato and its component city and municipalities during the Expanded Provincial Local Health board meeting at the Green State Convention Center, Koronadal City on March 26, 2021

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The MOA highlights the pooling of funds for the  Special Health Fund (SHF), based on Article V:  Financing and Sustainability which mandates that  the component LGUs – the City/Municipal and  the Provincial Government may contribute to the  SHF as LGU’s financial counterpart. Each LGU may  contribute Php100.00 per capita. The pooling of funds  amounting to Php20.00 as initial contribution may  commence in 2021 until the ceiling of Php100.00 is  achieved in the year 2025 (or whichever comes first).  The Php100.00 per capita based on the projected  population of each LGU and apportioned 50-50  between the City/Municipal LGUs and the Provincial  Government may continue after 2025.

“This fund will be an initial fund for SHF but can be utilized as provincial health insurance on top of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) especially for the indigent. A policy on utilization should be made so that all people will be protected from financial burden when it comes to health services and equitable access can be realized,” Dr. Alah Baby C. Vingno, Provincial Health Officer I, explained.

The members of the board present during the said MOA signing were Governor Reynaldo S. Tamayo, Jr. – Chairman of the Board, Dr. Rogelio B. Aturdido, Jr. – Vice Chairman of the Board, Dr. Marilou Barbara Libatique - Provincial DOH Officer,and Margie S. Managuit - Representative of Mahintana Foundation, Inc. The expanded members present were Hon. Eliordo U. Ogena – Koronadal City Mayor, Hon. Floro S. Gandam - Municipality of Lake Sebu Mayor, Hon. Benjamin V. Figueroa, Jr – Municipality of Tantangan Mayor, Hon. Leonard T. Escobillo – Municipality of Tampakan Mayor, Hon. Sulpicio F. Villalobos – Municipality of Sto. Niño Mayor, and Hon. Atty. Antonio O. Bendita – Municipality of Surallah Mayor.