Solon welcomes PhilHealth rate hike halt; seeks similar for SSS, Pag-IBIG
MANILA, Philippines — While the deferment of the planned premium rate hike for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is a welcome development, a lawmaker from the House of Representatives wants the same applied for Social Security System (SSS) and the Home Development Mutual Fund.
In a statement on Tuesday, Alliance of Concerned Teachers Rep. France Castro said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. can also make the same move for SSS and the Pag-IBIG Fund, based on the same reason that prices of basic commodities and services are rising.
“This is good but I think we can cite the same reason to also defer the premium hikes of the Social Security System (SSS) and the Home Development Mutual Fund, or Pag-IBIG Fund,” Castro said.
“Inflation is still rising, with the first week of 2023 ushering in a big time oil price hike and a staggering increase in water and power rates,” she added, referring to the at least P2.80 per liter increase in gasoline and P2.00 per liter for diesel that took effect earlier.
Marcos, through Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, ordered the deferment of the scheduled hike in PhilHealth premiums last December 31. This means the monthly contribution of PhilHealth members would remain at 4.0 percent and not the planned 4.5 percent.
This means that if a person is earning P10,000 and below per month, a P400 monthly premium would be collected and not P450. For those whose salary range above P10,000 but below P80,000, the contribution would range from P400 to P3,200.
After Marcos’ order was released, both the Department of Health (DOH) and PhilHealth said they understand why Malacañang issued the moratorium, adding that the issue would be discussed further in a meeting on Wednesday.
Castro hopes Malacañang would listen to their suggestion.
“Malacañang can also write or order the board of directors of the SSS and Pag-IBIG to defer their contribution hikes because Filipino workers need every peso that they earn to feed their families now. Sa pagtataas ng premium rates ay parang inaagawan pa ng SSS at Pag-IBIG ang mga pamilya ng manggagawa ng kanilang pagkain,” she said.
(With the increase in the premium rates, it seems that SSS and Pag-IBIG grabs away the income for food of the workers.)
“Sana ay makinig ang Malacanang at ang pamunuan ng SSS at Pag-IBIG para di na sila makadagdag pa sa hirap ng mga mamamayan sa ngayon,” she added.
(We hope Malacañang and the management of SSS and Pag-IBIG would listen, so that they would not be an additional burden to the masses.)