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Press Release - Tulfo's happy over colleagues support his push for accessible dental health services for Filipinos

Senator Idol Raffy Tulfo's Senate colleagues have expressed full support for his proposal to make dental health services accessible and available for all.

In his Privilege Speech yesterday, Tulfo stressed that Filipino's dental health concerns must be seriously addressed because having poor oral health can lead to life-threatening diseases like stroke, as well as affect mental health, self-confidence and employability of a person.

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva agreed with Tulfo's statement as he highlighted how "oral diseases disproportionately affect the poor and socially advantaged members of our society."

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, for his part, echoed Tulfo's warning that poor oral health indeed does extreme harm, saying: "Nakakapatay ng tao 'yung bulok na ipin kasi it goes up to the brain."

Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda commended Tulfo for bringing to their attention what she deemed as "very practical" and "urgent" concern on oral health which has always been disregarded.

Legarda noted that presently, dental clinics are only commonly available in private hospitals and are not accessible in provinces and rural areas.

It can be noted that Tulfo in said speech cited a 2018 National Health Survey confirming that up to 73 million Filipinos are suffering from dental caries or tooth decay. And just last February, the Philippine Dental Health Association announced that about 72% of our population has tooth decay.

"And despite the gravity of this problem and how it affects different aspects of our people's lives, it seems we have not done enough," he said.

Tulfo lamented that at present, Philhealth only covers oral surgery for patients confined in Philhealth accredited hospitals, but it only covers limited surgeries excluding surgeries in private dental clinics and basic oral health care services.

Ultimately, Tulfo is proposing for the Philippine Dental Association to include oral health services that are covered by PhilHealth package and for a review on how to provide free dentures for the underprivileged.

Tulfo ikinatuwa ang suporta ng kasamahan sa Senado sa isinusulong nyang basic dental care para sa mga Pinoy