Health Secretary Duque calls for suspension of hike in OFWs’ PhilHealth premium contributions
Duque made the call in a Tweet, following complaints over the 3 percent hike amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I call for the suspension of Section 10.2.C of the IRR (implementing rules and regulations) of the UHC law in light of COVID-19 and its economic impact on OFWs,” he said.
According to the Health Secretary, he will make this recommendation to PhilHealth “for their action.”
“Meanwhile, we will reach out again to our stakeholders for this,” he said.
Under PhilHealth Circular 2020-0014 dated April 16, 2020, premium payments of OFWs whose monthly income ranges from P10,000 to P60,000 rise to 3 percent of their monthly salary starting this year.
In 2019, premium payments constituted 2.75 percent of their salary in that bracket.
PhilHealth said the increase was in accordance with the Universal Health Care Act signed into law in February last year, but Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the hike was contained only in the IRR issued by PhilHealth.
Senator Bong Go has called on PhilHealth to delay the hike, noting that many affected OFWs were just relying on the one-time P10,000 in financial assistance being given by government.