Labor group slams Philhealth for raising mandatory contributions of OFWs

Published May 3, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Chito Chavez

Progressive group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) on Sunday chided the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) for “raising the mandatory contributions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) earning between P10,000 and P60,000 monthly from 2.75 to 3 percent.”


In a statement, KMU said the new policy is contained in the PhilHealth Circular on Premium Contribution and Collection of Payment of Overseas Filipino Members, which states that the premium for OFWs shall be based on their monthly income.

KMU Chairman Elmer Labog said the higher premium is an additional burden on OFWs who are still struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Why burden our OFWs with more mandatory payments when the government cannot even provide them with sufficient aid during the pandemic? Why make them more cash-strapped?” Labog said.

The organization said other migrant groups are calling for at least $200 in financial aid for all affected OFWs.

KMU insisted that raising the PhilHealth contributions of OFWs does not provide them health security amid the COVID-19 crisis, and accused the government of not providing a comprehensive and strategic medical solution to the pandemic that grips the nation.

KMU also described the PhilHealth circular as punitive as it penalizes those who fail to pay premiums on time.

Rather than slap them with additional burdens, KMU said PhilHealth should scrap the circular and the Duterte administration must provide them and their families the help they deserve.