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House to support initiatives promoting dental health

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Speaker Martin Romualdez (center) with officer of the Philippine Dental Association at the SMX Convention Center in the Mall of Asia in Pasay City Monday*

Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez committed the full support of the House of Representatives for initiatives meant to promote health education and improved access to dental care for every Filipino, a press release from the House of Representatives said.

Romualdez aired this pledge in his message as the keynote speaker during the 115th Convention of the Philippine Dental Association (PDA) Monday afternoon at the SMX Convention Center in the Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City.

“As Speaker of the House, I am committed to supporting initiatives that promote health education and access to dental care. I believe strongly in our collective ability to make a difference,” said Speaker Romualdez, head of the 300-plus strong House of Representatives.

Romualdez said the House is considering bills that would provide free medical and dental services to indigent Filipino children.

He noted that dental health is a critical, yet often overlooked, aspect of a person’s overall health as it affects how we eat, speak, and interact with others. Unfortunately, Romualdez said many Filipinos still suffer from preventable dental diseases.

Romualdez cited statistical data showing that seven out of every ten Filipinos have tooth decay. He also noted a 2020 report by the World Health Organization, saying the country lost an equivalent of 825 million dollars in productivity due to the five leading oral diseases.

In recognition of this need, he said the Philippine government has already taken decisive action. Section 6 (a) of Republic Act 11223, or the Universal Health Care Act, included dental services as one of the fundamental health services every Filipino is entitled to.

Furthermore, he said the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, or TRAIN law, enacted higher taxes on sugary beverages to curb consumption and thereby prevent oral diseases.

Despite these legislative efforts, Romualdez said oral health care often remains low on the list of priorities for many Filipinos.

The Speaker said the stakeholders can join hands to launch sustained campaigns to encourage regular dental check-ups, promote better dietary choices, and educate the public about the benefits included in their healthcare coverage.*

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