Scrap mandatory PhilHealth membership for OFWs and Filipino migrants in Australia Calls for Dialogue with Philippine Envoy

Migrante Australia echoes the call of Filipino migrant organisations around
the world calls to scrap mandatory membership to and collection by
PhilHealth, the government agency mandated by law to insure accessible
health care for Filipino citizens.  President Rodrigo Duterte signed into
law the Universal Health Care Act of 2019 (Republic Act No 11223) on 20
February 2019.  In the middle of the pandemic, Circular No. 2020-0014 dated
22 April 2020 was issued listing all Filipinos as mandatory members which
includes land based OFWs, seafarers, dual citizens, Filipinos migrants,
overseas Filipinos in distress,  and those not previously classified

PHOTO: Migrante Hong Kong

Ms Carmelita Baltazar, chairperson of Migrante Australia said that members
of the Filipino Australian community are so disappointed that the Philippine
government did not consult any migrant organisations in formulating its
healthcare programs and medical insurance and then passed a law mandating
them become members of PhilHealth insurance. “It is dodgy as we will
automatically become members of PhilHealth even without signing a membership
form. The automatic membership will legitimise taking 3% of our basic pay
starting June 2020 and increasing yearly by half percent to 5% through a
system generated billing statement”, Ms Baltazar added.

Mr. Danny Ladera said that our Australian employers will also be made to pay
their counterpart contribution for each Filipino citizen they employ on
their business. “I wonder if the Australian government was consulted on
PhilHealth insurance scheme Certainly, the Australian healthcare system is
one of the best in the modern world. Placing Filipinos in Australia under
mandatory PhilHealth private insurance is an insult to Australian health
care system itself. Why enforce the PhilHealth private insurance to
Filipinos here? There is already an existing and reliable medical system in
Australia and temporary migrants such as workers and international students
have private health insurance as part of their visa requirements. It doesn’t
make sense, ” he concluded.

Ms. Baltazar said that they will organise a nationwide dialogue with the
Philippine Ambassador, Ma. Hellen De La Vega to ventilate their concerns
over PhilHealth insurance scheme.