Hike in OFWs’ PhilHealth contribution still to take effect after pandemic
MANILA, Philippines — Based on Philippine Health Insurance Corp.’s (PhilHealth) understanding, the circular that imposes the increase to 3 percent in the premium contribution of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) whose monthly income are between P10,000 to P60,000 will still take effect after the coronavirus pandemic.
PhilHealth social health insurance officer Antonio Danao said this Tuesday during the joint hybrid hearing of the House committee on public accounts and the committee on good government and public accountability.
“Ang interpretation kasi ng PhilHealth, yung voluntary na in-announce ng Presidente ay during the pandemic period lang,” Danao said.
(PhilHealth’s interpretation is that the President’s directive to make payment of contributions for OFWs voluntary is only during the pandemic period.)
“Ngayon after the pandemic, dahil ang batas ay hindi pa na-amyendahan at yung PhilHealth circular na aming nailabas ay hindi pa na-amend, after the pandemic, magte-take effect pa rin ang PhilHealth circular,” he added.
(Once the pandemic is over, since the law and the PhilHealth circular that we released have not been amended yet, then after the pandemic, the PhilHealth circular will still take effect.)
Danao added: “‘Yan ang pagkakaintindi ng PhilHealth habang hindi pa naamyendahan ang batas at yung kanyang implementing rules and regulations.”
(That’s our understanding until the law and the implementing rules and regulations are amended.)
Danao was referring to President Rodrigo Duterte’s earlier order for PhilHealth to make the payment of premiums of OFWs voluntary.
Duterte made the decision in light of the backlash following the release of PhilHealth Circular No. 2020-0014 that required OFWs to pay premiums at higher rates.
The said circular states that “overseas Filipinos are classified as direct contributors under the Universal Healthcare Law and therefore, payment and remittance of premium contributions is mandatory.”
It further states that premium contribution of OFWs whose monthly income are between P10,000 to P60,000 will increase to 3 percent from a previous rate of 2.75 percent.
This led to nearly 300,000 OFWs signing a petition protesting PhilHealth’s premium rate hike, saying that their jobs were affected by the pandemic.
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