On 22 April 2020, Philhealth Circular No. 2020-0014 entitled “Premium Contribution and Collection of Payment of Overseas Filipino Member” was officially made public. This is in fulfillment of President Duterte’s Universal Healthcare Law which was signed on 20 February 2019 which sets mandatory coverage to all Filipinos under the country’s National Health Insurance Program. The Circular demands Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to enlist themselves to this program. While OFWs are sending billions of dollars every year to the Philippines through remittances and thus saving its economy from drowning, it is unjust for the government to exact money for health services that they don't directly benefit.
We, from the Sentro Filipino Chaplaincy reiterate our call to completely abrogate and junk the unjust mandatory Philhealth requirements and annual premium rate increases for the following reasons:
1. The mandatory 3% is only the first phase of a tiered payment computation which is set to increase year by year reaching 5% in 2024. This is in addition to all other draining state exactions imposed by the Philippine government.
2. Members who fail to make payment after the due date will be penalized and required to pay all missed contributions with monthly compounded interest. Philhealth payment is part of OEC requirements, no OEC will be issued to OFWs who are unable to complete their Philhealth payments.
3. This increase overburdens OFWs who are already troubled by retrenchments and loss of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic and recessions. An overwhelming number of OFWs are not even covered by the DOLE-AKAP cash aid program.
4. OFWs are already covered by existing insurance and healthcare programs in Italy. This renders useless since Philhealth is not recognized in Italy’s hospitals. And OFWs have to shoulder both employee and employer contributions.
5. Philhealth is riddled with corruption. Last year a whopping Php 154 Billion has been lost to Philhealth’s ghost patients and deliveries funneled mainly to profit-oriented private healthcare facilities.
6. OFWs has been contributing huge amount of remittance annually to the government coffer, in 2019 alone remittance thru formal channel reached US$ 33.9 Billion. The Philippine government is robbing us of our hard-earned money which we should be sending back to support our families.
1. No to mandatory membership on Philhealth and premium rate hike.
2. Eradicate corruption on Philhealth and make accountable those who commit such heinous crime.
3. Enact Genuine Health Care Act.
4. Stop Labor Export Policy.
The SPC: NO TO PHILHEALTH MANDATORY CONTRIBUTION petition to Government of the Philippines was written by Aris Miranda and is in the category Health at GoPetition.