We, overseas Filipinos, OFWs, reaffirm and express our strong and collective opposition to the mandatory PhilHealth membership and premium increase.
The mandatory PhilHealth membership and premium rate hike was signed into law through the passage of the Universal Healthcare Act (UHC) signed by President Duterte on February 20, 2019.
OFWs and Overseas Filipinos are already covered by existing health insurance programs in their host countries and will not benefit from PhilHealth. Without bilateral agreements with host countries, OFWs will be forced to pay for their employer’s contributions and will be penalized if they fail to remit their PhilHealth contributions. The mandatory membership and premium increase further overburdens our OFWs who are already charged with other mandatory government fees whose livelihoods have been affected by the COVID19 pandemic and have not received financial assistance from the Philippine government.
Merely suspending the collection of the mandatory PhilHealth premium increase during the pandemic is not enough. Provisions of the UHC must be amended to remove the mandatory collection among OFWs and overseas Filipinos, and the premium increase.
Therefore, we support the urgent passage of House Bill 6698, filed on May 7, 2020 that would allow VOLUNTARY membership among overseas Filipinos, remove the “double payment”, and compounded interest for unpaid premium, and unjust premium increase by amending provisions of the UHC Law.
We call on members of Congress and Senate to support the passage of House Bill 6698.
We call on President Duterte to certify urgent House Bill 6698 by the time he delivers his annual state of the nation address (SONA).
1. Scrap mandatory PhilHealth membership for OFWs and Overseas Filipinos
2. No to premium increase
3. Certify urgent and Pass House Bill 6698
4. Establish a genuine, pro-people, universal health care program through free and comprehensive medical and health services
5. Enhance and strengthen the public health care system in the Philippines