Press Statement

December 29, 2021

The planned “PhilHealth Holidays” proves the failure of RA11223 or the Universal Health Care Act, a health care system that transferred government health care responsibilities to a private provider that charges high fees instead of providing it for free. The UHC Act is one of the priority bills of Duterte when he assumed office as President in 2016. Instead of improving health care services for the people, it bestowed fortune to Duterte and his corrupt minions. They must be held accountable for the 15B pesos corruption that until now has never been recovered or those involved remained unpunished.

Before the planned PhilHealth holidays, several private hospitals were already disengaging from PhilHealth due to mounting unpaid claims from Philhealth.  However, PhilHealth management only provides them with promises of partial payments and more collectibles piled up and remain unpaid. The Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPI) is now urging its members not to accept claims for PhilHealth 
deductions for health services from January 1 to 5, 2022 due to long overdue payment of private hospital claims.

While the Philhealth holidays may help private hospitals to pressure Philhealth to settle billions of payables, this would have a devastating impact on our sick kababayans who need immediate reduced health care cost. As a matter of fact, despite the severity of the COVID pandemic in 2021, Duterte has reduced the health care budget to prioritize infrastructure and military spending particularly on the NTF-ELCAC’s operations that target genuine people’s organizations who serve the most marginalized including our health care frontliners. Even worse, Duterte allotted a huge budget for his intelligence funds instead of addressing the urgent calls of our health care workers’ emergency wages.

We agree with the statement made by Sen. Nancy Binay, “What is the use of health insurance if we can’t use it. In the end, it’s not Philhealth or the hospitals that will suffer, it’s the Filipino people”.

With the looming national elections, MIGRANTE International is campaigning not to vote any candidates that provided the people including our Overseas Filipinos with more miseries instead of relief especially at this timeof the pandemic. Furthermore, we demand that the payment of the Philhealth mandatory membership and premium increase must be scrapped! We are calling the attention of Presidential candidates to include in their platform the 10-point demands of our Overseas Filipinos specifically on the implementation of a free genuine Universal Health Care for the people.##