CBCP tells gov’t: Don’t be a burden for OFWs
MANILA, Philippines—Philippine Catholic bishops supported opposition against an increase in pension fund and health insurance fees for Filipinos seeking greener pasture abroad.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People (CBCP- ECMI) urged the government on Thursday (June 20) to stop the increase in premiums for overseas Filipino workers for enrollment in the Social Security Service (SSS) and coverage by the scandal-plagued Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth).
Bishop Ruperto Santos, head of the CBCP-ECMI, said instead of further burdening OFWs the government must ease their hardship by freezing action on the proposed premium increase.
Santos said the premium increase would be an “added financial burden” for Filipinos driven by poverty to job markets abroad.
“Our OFWs should be assisted, helped and promoted not to be burdened,” he added.
Santos also opposed provisions in the new social security law that would require SSS membership for OFWs.
Membership in SSS and PhilHealth should be “voluntary and encouraged.”
Under the new law, newly hired OFWs are required to pay in advance the P960 per month SSS premium.
Returning workers, meanwhile, will pay a three-month advance contribution amounting to P2,880. If not paid, their working permits will not be issued. (Editor: Tony Bergonia)
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