Duterte holds off PhilHealth contribution hike, says Bong Go
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the postponement of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) member contributions increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Duterte’s longtime aide and now Senator Christopher “Bong” Go confirmed this in a text message to reporters Monday night.
“Pinadefer na muna (ni President Duterte ang) increase sa PhilHealth (contribution),” Go said.
However, it was not clear how Duterte could just postpone the implementation of the Philhealth member contributions hike, which was mandated under the Universal Health Care law. Any deferment or modification in the implementation of a law’s provision might have to be done so via a separate law passed by Congress stating such modification or deferment. In some cases, at least an Executive Order signed by the President could stop the implementation of a law.
Go, chair of the Senate committee on health, recently said Duterte is willing to sign a measure deferring the increase in contributions or to approve augmenting more funds to PhilHealth that has been riddled with fraud allegations.
This year, the premium rate of PhilHealth members will increase to 3.5 percent of their monthly basic salary, from 3 percent in 2020.
According to PhilHealth, the Universal Health Care Act mandates increases in member premiums by 0.5 every year, beginning 2021 until it reaches the 5-percent limit in 2025.
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