Sunday, November 3, 2013

Phil Health Hike - 2013

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) defended the increase in premium rates for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) after receiving numerous complaints about the price hike.

In a statement last Oct. 11, PhilHealth manager for Overseas Filipinos Chona S. Yap said that OFWs should at least match the amount paid by members of the informal sector

“The new rate for OFWs translates to just 6.70 pesos (SR6.7) per day, which clearly shows that they are still paying a very minimal amount comparable to indigents and informal sector members such as vendors, public transport workers, and the like,” said Yap.

Contributions of members earning below P25,000 is P2,400, while those who earn P25,000 and above pay P3,600. OFWs fork over P1,200 for their annual contributions, but will have to pay twice that or P2,400 starting January 1, 2014.

Key stakeholders from affected sectors, including migrant workers, were said to be included in the development of the adjustments made by the state-run insurance agency.

"We have actively brought the issue with all players and affected sectors and even decided to phase-in its implementation starting this year in response to their calls for deferment", clarified Yap.

Part of the demographic against the new premium rate, Filipino migrant-rights group Migrante-Middle East and North Africa (M-MENA), called for a boycott, reported Saudi-based Arab News last Oct. 8.

In a press release, M-MENA urged Filipino community leaders and various OFW groups to strongly oppose the change. The increased rate, said M-MENA coordinator John Leonard Monterona, was an unnecessary added burden to OFWs and their dependents.

“Dapat nga exempted na kaming mga OFWs at dependents sa Philhealth premium... Sa remittances naming mga OFWs sumisigla ang local consumption at sa bawat produkto at serbisyo na binibili o tinatangkilik ng aming pamilya may 12% EVAT ang gobyerno,” protested Monterona.

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