Binay hits CHED, IATF’s ‘cumbersome’, ‘unnecessary’ in-person classes requirements
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Nancy Binay on Monday railed against the “cumbersome and unnecessary” requirement for higher education students participating in face-to-face classes to have medical insurance and other documents.
Binay said a lot of parents have complained about the many requirements before students are allowed to attend face-to-face classes.
“This is a cumbersome and unnecessary requirement para sa college students, considering that by law, all Filipinos are automatic members of PhilHealth. Sa totoo lang, ‘di kailangang dagdagan ang proseso, dapat nga mas simplehan pa (In reality, the process does not need more steps, it needs to be simplified),” she said in a statement.
The government has already allowed colleges and universities under Alert Level 1 to hold in-person classes at full classroom capacity, provided that only fully-vaccinated students with health insurance can participate.
Upon announcing the health insurance requirement, the government said that students aged 21 and above may enroll in PhilHealth as indigent members, on grounds that the student has no capacity to pay for the premiums. Meanwhile, students below 21 may be classified as dependents of their parents or legal guardians.
“Yung guidelines ng IATF/DOH and CHED have led to many interpretations na halos unreasonable na. Kung walang maipakitang PhilHealth, hihingan ng private health insurance, plus meron pang duly-notarized waiver, health certificate, at certificate of indigency—at yung iba may nire-require pang negative antigen results. We all understand the concern, pero ‘wag naman OA. Katatapos lang ng Kwaresma, eto na naman may panibagong pasanin ang mga magulang, estudyante at daigdig,” Binay noted.
(The guidelines have led to many interpretations that are almost unreasonable already. If they can’t present PhilHealth, they will be asked to present a private health insurance, plus a duly-notarized waiver, health certificate, and a certificate of indigency. There are some that require negative antigen results. We all understand the concern, but let’s not make it OA. The Holy Week has just ended, this just gives another burden to parents and students.)
Binay said the requirements should be limited to vaccination cards only to make it simpler and less burdensome.
“Dapat ang requirement, simpleng vaxx card lang. Sinasabi ng iba, isang pindot lang ng app, at magbayad ka ng P500, may insurance ka na. May mali eh. Bakit kailangan papahirapan ang estudyante at magulang? Supposedly libre na nga dahil lahat covered ng PhilHealth,” Binay said.
(The requirement should only be vaccination cards. Some say that with just one click, and P500, you can have an insurance. There’s something wrong. Why do we need to burden the students and the parents? It should be free because all are covered by PhilHealth.)
She pointed out that the Universal Health Care Law, all Filipinos are automatically enrolled in the National Health Insurance Program of PhilHealth.
“Ang dehado na naman kasi rito ay ang mga naghihirap nating kababayan, o mga working student. Mag-aayos pa sila ng papeles, kukuha ng birth certificate at marriage certificate ng magulang sa PSA. Tapos certificate of indigency sa local government unit, pipila sa PhilHealth, gagastos ng oras at pamasahe para makapag-rehistro samantalang hindi naman na kailangan dahil myembro na sila. Iyon nga ang point kung bakit ipinaglaban namin ang pagpasa ng UHC Law eh,” the senator said.
(The disadvantaged here are the poor people or working students. They will have to arrange their documents, get a birth certificate, a marriage certificate of their parents then a certificate of indigency from the LGUs. They then will queue up in PhilHealth, they will invest time and resources to get registered when it is already unnecessary since they are already members. That’s what we fought for in the passing of the UHC law.)
If the government insists on upholding the requirement, Binay said that it should instead mandate higher education institutions to set up frills-free kiosks for health insurance registration at school premises.
“Ginawa ito sa UP (University of the Philippines), pero voluntary. Kung ipagpipilitan ang requirement na ito, mas maigi pang gawing mandatory imbes na optional na ang mga HEI ang may responsibilidad na mag-rehistro sa mga estudyante,” she said.
(UP is doing this but it is voluntary. If they insist upon this requirement, they should make it mandatory instead of making it optional where the HEIs are responsible for registering the students.)
UP has set up a PhilHealth registration process to ensure that its students have health insurance, Binay said. In a bulletin released by the university, it said that students may register through the Office of Student Affairs or the Insurance Claims Officers in UP campuses. The registration requirement excludes PhilHealth direct contributors or those with equivalent medical insurance plans.
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