December 21, 2011
Dr. Eduardo P. Banzon
President and Chief Executive Officer
Philippine Health Insurance Corporation
Subject: Opposition to Increased Philhealth Premium Payment
The Filipino Migrant Workers Group vehemently opposes the issuance of Philhealth Circular No. 022, s, 2011 which increased among others, the individual premium contribution of Overseas Filipino Workers from Nine Hundred Pesos (900) to Two Thousand Four Hundred Pesos (2,400) per year effective July 1, 2012.
The increase was not only arbitrary, but the circular itself is in clear violation of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. 10022 otherwise known as the Amended Migrant Workers Act.
For millions of OFWs who are holding low-paying jobs and hardly benefiting from Philhealth, and particularly those who are already covered by more superior health insurance provided by their overseas employers, the present compulsory premium of Nine Hundred Pesos is already a burden. But to even increase it by more than 150% (without proper consultation) is downright callous and a clear manifestation of insensitivity to the feelings of the Migrant Sector.
Philhealth must also reckon with Rule XVII of IRR on R.A. 10022 which provides, under Section 4 on Government Fees, Administration Costs and Taxes, the following:
“All fees for services being charged by any government agency on migrant workers prevailing at the time of the effectivity of this Rule shall not be increased.”
Jun S. Aguilar
Filipino Migrant Workers Group