STOP THE MANDATORY COLLECTION OF PHILHEALTH PREMIUM INCREASE! Joint Position Statement of Filipino Migrant Groups on PhilHealth Circular No. 2020-0014

STOP THE MANDATORY COLLECTION OF PHILHEALTH PREMIUM INCREASE!

Joint Position Statement of Filipino Migrant Groups on PhilHealth Circular No. 2020-0014 

On 22 April 2020, PhilHealth Circular No. 2020-0014 entitled “Premium Contribution and Collection of Payment of Overseas Filipino Member” was officially made public. This is in fulfillment of President Duterte’s Universal Healthcare Law which was signed on 20 February 2019 which sets mandatory coverage to all Filipinos under the country’s National Health Insurance Program. 

Philhealth3a

Since last year, we and many other Filipino migrant groups have already expressed opposition to the proposed collection, At this time, an online petition initiated by OFWs opposing Philhealth’s mandatory collection has already garnered almost 300,000 signatures. This, together with visible reactions in social media platforms clearly show the rejection of OFWs to this scheme by the Duterte administration’s Philhealth. The petition (https://bit.ly/2yn9BMr) is poised to muster more support in the coming days.

 

  1. The mandatory 3% is only the first phase of a tiered payment computation which is set to increase year by year reaching 5% in 2024. This is in addition to all the other draining state exactions imposed by the Philippine government. 
  2. Overseas Filipinos are treated as “direct contributors” that have to pay BOTH the employer and employee’s share. Citing Hong Kong as an example where OFWs have a minimum salary of HK$ 4,630   (Php 30,095), the total contribution for 2020 would amount to HK$ 1,667 which is equivalent to Php 10,835.50 (Php30,095 x 0.03 x 12 months). By 2024 and onwards, upon implementation of the 5% increase on the monthly contribution, this would spike up to HK$2,778 or Php 18,057 yearly.
  3. Members who fail to make payment after the due date will be penalized and required to pay all missed contributions with monthly compounded interest.
  4. This increase overburdens OFWs who are already troubled by retrenchments and loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recession. An overwhelming number of OFWs are not even covered by President Duterte’s DOLE-AKAP cash aid program and repatriated OFWs have been crying out on the government for steady and efficient amelioration.
  5. OFWs are already covered by existing insurance and healthcare programs in their host countries which renders Duterte’s mandatory Philhealth coverage as useless for Filipino migrants abroad. Why charge them yet again? 
  6. Since regular contribution to Philhealth is part of OEC requirements, no OEC will be issued to OFWs who are unable to complete their Philhealth payments. Duterte broke his campaign promise of removing the OEC requirement.
  7. Members who fail to make payment after the due date will be required to pay all missed contributions with monthly compounded interest. This is extremely painful for OFWs who are unable to finish their contracts because of abuse and maltreatment 
  8. OFWs will have to shoulder both employee and employer contributions. This means that they will be charged twice. 
  9. Corruption in Philhealth: President Duterte himself has claimed last year that a whopping Php 154 Billion has been lost to Philhealth’s ghost patients and deliveries funneled mainly to profit-oriented private healthcare facilities. Why are OFWs and  Filipino migrants being forced to shoulder government losses caused by corruption? 
  10. Subsidizing private profit: While underfunded public healthcare and medical facilities are fast deteriorating, mandatory Philhealth collections are bound to benefit profit-oriented private healthcare facilities as public hospitals are engulfed by the government’s privatization program.
    Our Demands:

 

  1. Stop the mandatory Philhealth premium exaction.
  2. Enforce a moratorium on all state exactions at this period of the COVID-19 pandemic and recession. 
  3. Remove punitive penalties.
  4. Junk OEC.
  5. Establish a genuine universal health care program through free medical and health services.
  6. Enhance and strengthen the public health care system in the Philippines. 

Instead of building more pro-people infrastructures for public health services and establishing a genuine universal health care program where medical and health services are free, President Duterte is clinging on to neoliberal economic policies that extort money from the public to fill the coffers of big private entities. This in itself is legalized theft that preys on our already overburdened Filipino migrants. 

Our opposition to this unjust state exaction will not stop with the petition. Migrante International encourages everyone to join our kalampagan and other forms of online protests and creative actions to oppose the Duterte government’s mandatory Philhealth exaction. 

We, Filipino migrants, affix our organizations name herewith to signify our support to the content and demands written on this position paper and to express our strong and collective opposition to the mandatory collection of Philhealth contributions.

Signed:

  1. Migrante International (Global Alliance of Filipino Migrant Orgs in 24 countries)
  2. Migrante Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  3. Gabriela Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  4. FAPS INTERNATIONAL – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  5. Samahang Migrante Manggagawa Nagkakaisa sa Riyadh (SAMAKABA-MIGRANTE) – KSA
  6. JEDDAH FILIPINO SOCIETY – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  7. Migrante Qatar
  8. Gabriela United Arab Emirates
  9. Migrante Seattle, USA
  10. Migrante Portland, USA
  11. Migrante Napa-Solano, USA
  12. Migrante Daly City, USA
  13. PAWIS East Bay, USA
  14.  PAWIS San Jose, USA
  15.  Migrante Los Angeles, USA
  16.  Migrante Long Beach, USA
  17.  Migrante Orange County, USA
  18.  Migrante New York, USA
  19. Migrante New Jersey, USA
  20. Migrante Youth New York, USA
  21. Migrante Chicago, USA
  22. Migrante Washington D.C., USA
  23. Anakbayan Washington DC
  24. Migrante Manitoba, Canada
  25.  Migrante BC, Canada,
  26. Migrante Alberta, Canada
  27. Migrante Ontario, Canada
  28. Migrante Ottawa, Canada
  29. Alberta Care Workers Association, Canada
  30. Kabisig Society of Fort Saskatchewan
  31. Philippine Migrant Society of Canada (PMSC)
  32. PINAY, Canada
  33. Association of Filipino Parents, Quebec, Canada
  34. Filipino Indigenous Association of Quebec, Canada
  35. Aklanon Association
  36. Migrante Canada
  37. Anakbayan Europe
  38. Campaign for the Human Rights in the Philippines, United Kingdom
  39. Europe Network for Justice and Peace in the Philippines
  40. Federation of Domestic Workers Association (FDWA), UK
  41. Filipino Ecumenical Migrants Ministry – IFI,
  42. FOA-Au Pair, Denmark
  43. Gabriela Germany
  44. Gabriela London
  45. Gabriela Roma
  46. Gabriela Switzerland
  47. Kabalikat Netherlands
  48. Kanlungan Filipino Consortium, UK
  49. Makabayang Samahang Pilipino (MkSP), Netherlands
  50. Migrante Austria
  51. Migrante Bologna, Italy
  52. Migrante Como, Italy
  53. Hyper Megara Fitness Club, Italy
  54. Marias Zumba, Italy
  55. Zumba Energetic Moms, Italy
  56. Laguna and Friends Association (LAFA), Italy
  57. Villasinians of Italy
  58. Kaisahan ng Manggagawang Pilipino sa Italya- KAMPI Rome
  59. Samahan ng Magdalo Roma
  60. KasamaKo Greece
  61. Migrante Denmark
  62. Migrante Europe
  63. Migrante Firenze, Italy
  64. Migrante Iceland
  65. Migrante Ireland
  66. Migrante Mantova
  67. Migrante Milano
  68. Migrante Netherlands Amsterdam
  69. Migrante Netherlands Den Haag
  70. Migrante Utrecht
  71. Migrante UK
  72. Migrante Zurich
  73. Milan OFW Kapitbisig
  74. Nagkakaisang Pilipino sa Pransya
  75. Pinay sa Holland – Gabriela
  76. Promotion of Church People’s Response Europe
  77. Samahan ng mga Kabataan sa Netherlands (SAMAKA-NL)
  78. Sentro Pilipino Chaplaincy (SPC)
  79. Ugnayang Pilipino sa Belgium (UPB)
  80. Umangat Migrante
  81. Babaylan Germany
  82. MIGRANTE Aotearoa New Zealand
  83. MIGRANTE Aotearoa – Palmerston North
  84. MIGRANTE Aotearoa – Christchurch
  85. PINAY Aotearoa – New Zealand
  86. Migrante Builders Aotearoa
  87. Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG), NEW ZEALAND
  88. MIGRANTE Australia
  89. Lingap Migrante – Western Sydney Australia
  90. Migrante North Hornsby, Sydney Australia
  91. Migrante South West – Sydney
  92. Philippines Australia Women’s Association
  93. Migrante Kultura
  94. Migrante Melbourne
  95. Migrante Melbourne East
  96. Migrante Melbourne North – Samahang Tatak Pinoy
  97. Migrante Melbourne Northeast
  98. Migrante Melbourne West
  99. Migrante Perth, Australia
  100. Advance League of People’s Artists (ALPA), Australia
  101. AnakBayan Sydney
  102. AnakBayan Melbourne
  103. BAYAN Australia
  104. Gabriela Australia
  105. Gabriela Greater Sydney
  106. Gabriela Victoria
  107. Gabriela Perth
  108. Philippines Studies Network in Australia (PINAS)
  109. Promotion for Church People’s Response (PCPR) Australia
  110. United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
  111. Abra Migrant Workers Welfare Association
  112. Association of Concerned Filipinos
  113. Cuyapo OFW Association Hong Kong
  114. Filipino Friends
  115. Filipino Lesbian Organization
  116. Filipino Migrant Domestic Workers Union
  117. Filipino Migrants Association
  118. Filipino Women Migrant Association
  119. Friends of Bethune House
  120. Likha Filipino Migrants Cultural Organization
  121. Luzviminda Migrante
  122. Migrante Naguilian
  123. Migrante Pier
  124. Migrante Shatin
  125. Migrante Tamar
  126. Migrante Tsing Ti
  127. Migrante Tsuen Wan
  128. Migrante Yuen Long
  129. Migranteng Artista ng Bayan
  130. Organic Cultural and Environmental Organization
  131. Philippine Independent Church Choir
  132. Pinatud A Saleng Ti Umili (PSU)
  133. Pangasinan Organization for Welfare, Empowerment and Rights
  134. Samahang Migrante
  135. Sta Maria Migrants Association
  136. Women of Philippine Independent Church – WOPIC Antique
  137. Filipino Migrant Workers’ Union (FMWU)
  138. FMWU City Hall Chapter
  139. FMWU Chater Garden Chapter
  140. FMWU Chater Road Chapter
  141. Abra Tinguian Ilocano Society
  142. Annak ti Maeng Tubo-HK
  143. Baggak Cultural Group
  144. Bangued Migrants Workers Association
  145. Bucay Migrants Workers
  146. Bucloc Overseas Workers Association
  147. Ganagan San Juan Association
  148. Lacub Migrants
  149. Lagangilang Overseas Association
  150. Langiden Migrants Organization
  151. Lapaz Migrants Association
  152. Licuan-Baay HK Association
  153. Maeng Tribe of Abra Luba-HK
  154. Malibcong Migrants Association
  155. Timpuyog Ti Tayum
  156. BAYAN Hong Kong & Macau
  157. Cordillera Alliance Hong Kong (CORALL)
  158. GABRIELA Hong Kong
  159. Gabriela Hong Kong Bank
  160. Filguys Association
  161. Filipino Lesbians Organization (FILO)
  162. Promotion of Church Peoples’ Response (PCPR) – Hong Kong
  163. Danza Filipina 
  164. DOMO Hong Kong 
  165. Women Dance Club the Original HK
  166. The Silent Majority Hong Kong 
  167. FilReflex – Filipino Reflexologists Hong Kong 
  168. HK CIASI 61892
  169. Federation of Luzon Alliance Group  (FLAG) of Hong Kong 
  170. National Organization of Professional Teachers (NOPT) Hong Kong 
  171. Global Alliance Hong Kong
  172. Magdalo Hong Kong
  173. United Philippine Taekwondo Organization (UPTO)
  174. Ellen Dancers
  175. Social Justice for Migrant Workers
  176. UMELA Hong Kong
  177. ROAD Hong Kong
  178. Share Hong Kong
  179. KAFIN Saitama – Migrante
  180. MIGRANTE Japan
  181. MIGRANTE Macau
  182. KASAMMAKO – Katipunan ng mga Samahan ng Migranteng Manggawa sa Korea
  183. New Era Foundation
  184. Pag-Iribang Bicolnon in Korea
  185. TERESA Women’s Organization
  186. EPS Korea
  187. Osan Migrants Centre
  188. MIGRANTE Taiwan
  189. ACTION – Association of Concerned Filipinos in Thailand
  190. Migrante Youth
  191. Migrante Philippines

 

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