OFWs Demand The Cancellation of PhilHealth’s Proposed Premium Increase by 5%

MANILA, Philippines — The leading organization representing overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and migrant Filipinos strongly denounced President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s administration for raising members’ contributions to Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) from 4% to 5% this year.

On Friday, the state-run health insurer made an announcement announcing it will go forward with its planned increase in members’ contributions — an action which will affect individuals with salaries between P10,000 to P100,000.

Migrante International announced on Saturday that the premium hike, with deductions reaching P500-P5,000 for OFWs earning between P10K and P99,999.99 each month, represents an additional financial burden to OFWs.
“The Marcos Jr. regime should recognize that, while increasing PhilHealth premium contributions, most OFWs continue to face stagnant wages and an ever-increasing cost of living and rent in their host countries – as well as unemployment and stagnant wages here.”

PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Office Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. announced earlier that additional funds collected will be used to implement “positive changes” to PhilHealth benefits.

Marcos previously halted the implementation of an increase from 4.4% to 4.5% for premium increases planned in 2023 due to public outrage from Filipino migrants and others, but Ledesma noted that postponing it again would result in losses totaling P17 billion.

Migrante found Ledesma’s earlier statement regarding premium hikes insensitive, noting that even a negligible increase will likely be felt across society.

“OFWs cannot gain anything from PhilHealth due to its limited coverage in the Philippines,” stated the group.

“OFWs who need medical care abroad often face high medical fees and costs that they must bear; insurance packages provide them with protection. Meanwhile, PhilHealth contributions seem like nothing more than taxation by the Philippine government which treats OFWs like milking cows while withholding essential services,” stated the statement.

Migrante also dismissed the government’s statement, asserting that due to reported instances of corruption and plunder of public funds, it does not have sufficient funds for health and other social services.

PhilHealth released this statement as a response to allegations of corruption made against it in recent months.

PhilHealth was abolished, yet many Filipinos still wish for its return, so the group encouraged all Filipinos to express their discontent over proposed premium hikes or any levy imposed by the state.

What Can You Say About This?


Add Comment