This is with regards to the article of Rev. Fr. Antonio Cecilio T. Pascual “Lessen the burden being carriedby OFWs” published in the BusinessMirror on May 15, 2020.
We fully understand Fr. Pascual’s sentiments relative to the increase in PhilHealth premiums of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). However, allow us to clarify that the increase in premium rates is in accordance with Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act. Specific provisions of this law are clear on the rate of premiums for all direct contributors, which include migrant workers. PhilHealth is bound to abide by the law.
Cognizant of the concerns over the new premium rate, we have explored several possibilities to cushion the impact of the increase through flexible payment terms in the recently published PhilHealth Circular 2020-0014. Such affordable and flexible installment scheme is beneficial to our OFWs whose priority is to secure the health of their families in the country through social health insurance. However, due to this pandemic, we have announced a moratorium in payments for the duration of the crisis, and deferred the collection of premiums from OFWs in compliance with the Bayanihan We Heal as One Act.
We would like to assure Fr. Pascual and your readers that PhilHealth is fully committed to giving more meaning to the right to health of every Filipino family. We are committed to putting to good use the hard-earned contributions of our members in the realization of UHC for the benefit of all Filipinos. We continue to assure OFWs and their families in the Philippines of continued service up until their return to the country to retire. Thank you.
(Sgd.) Shirley B. Domingo, MD
Corporate Affairs Group