The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) was hit by controversy involving high-ranking officials and tagging them in high-value corruption. Now, the House committee on public accounts wants to amend the current Universal Healthcare Law that pushes Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) to pay for their monthly premiums.
READ ALSO : PhilHealth Issues Statement Regarding the Increase of Their Premium Rates That Is Greatly Affecting OFWs
During the congressional inquiry which recently resumed, Chairman of the committee and Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor wants to further check the UHC Law for the possibility of amendments to lift the burden of OFWs, particularly during this tough times.
“We got orders from our Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to prioritize OFWs. Sinabihan nya kami na alagaan ang mga OFWs, unahin ang kapakanan nila para na din sa kanilang pamilya,” says Defensor.
The said amendments will particularly focus on the removal of OFWs in the list of direct PhilHealth contributors. The UHC law became a hot topic among OFWs after it was recommended that their premium contributions be raised by 3%.
The virtual hearing was attended by Blas F. Ople Policy Center head Susan Ople who appealed to indefinitely suspend the Philhealth premium hike for OFW and migrant workers. During the deliberation, Defensor raised a reminder that President Duterte gave an order to suspend the voluntary contribution of OFWs in Philhealth.
“It will be suspended until such time the President orders it. But we will also draft the amendments and approve it immediately,” says Defensor.
It can be recalled that President Duterte already issued an order not to require OFWs to pay Philhealth premiums and it should only be voluntary.