Escudero seeks continued deferment of PhilHealth contribution hike for 2022
MANILA, Philippines — Sorsogon governor and senatorial aspirant Francis Escudero is seeking the continued deferment of the scheduled increases in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) premium contributions.
Escudero said the country is still facing the pandemic and that mandatory increases should not be implemented until the current version of the Universal Healthcare Act (UHC) is amended.
“Nasa gitna pa rin tayo ng pandemya at mukhang matatagalan pa bago magbalik sa normal ang pamumuhay ng mga tao, kaya’t nananawagan ako sa PhilHealth na huwag munang magpatupad ng mandatory increase sa kontribusyon ng mga miyembro nito habang wala pang naipapasang batas na mag-aamyenda sa UHC law,” Escudero said in a statement.
(We are still in the middle of a pandemic and it looks like it will take a while before the lives of our people return to normal. So I am appealing to PhilHealth not to implement a mandatory increase in the contribution of its members while there is no law yet amending the UHC law.)
“Kung sakaling magpasiya ang ahensya na huwag nang palawigin pa ang pag-aantala sa pagtaas ng buwanang kontribusyon, milyong Pilipino ang maapektuhan at tiyak na ito ay magiging dagdag pabigat pa sa kanila,” he added.
(If the agency will decide not to continue the deferment of the scheduled increase in the monthly premium contributions, millions of Filipinos will be affected and this will be an additional burden for them.)
The Universal Health Care Act mandates increases in member premiums by increments of 0.5 percent every year, starting 2021 until it reaches the 5-percent limit in 2025.
This means that from 3 percent in 2020, premium contributions would increase to 3.5 percent in 2021 and 4 percent in 2022, and so on.
However, PhilHealth suspended the contribution hike in January 2021 following the order of President Rodrigo Duterte. Due to the suspension in the increase, current collection remained at 3 percent.
Escudero urged lawmakers to pass current proposals seeking to suspend the scheduled hikes under the UHC.
The House of Representatives has passed a measure seeking to grant the president of the Philippines the power to suspend the scheduled increases in PhilHealth contributions. Its counterpart bill is still up for sponsorship in the Senate plenary.
“Sana magkaroon ng win-win solution ito sa lalong madaling panahon. Higit kailan man ay kailangan ng mga Pilipino ng health insurance habang namamayagpag pa ang pandemya,” Escudero said.
(I hope there could be a win-win solution for this as soon as possible. Filipinos need health insurance now more than ever amid the pandemic.)