PhilHealth Contributions of OFWs, Now ‘Voluntary’

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Today’s modern heroes are also not exempted from the current economic crisis. This pandemic has caused suspension of work affecting every corner of the world, therefore, our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are also suffering.

Just recently, a memo from Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) brought additional burden to all migrant Filipino workers.

The PhilHealth Circular No. 2020 – 0014 which was signed last April 2, 2020, aims to set clear guidelines on the implementation of the new set of premium contribution and its collection from payment for OFWs as provided by Universal Health Care (UHC) Law. Also, under UHC Law, the Overseas Filipinos are classified as direct contributors and therefore, payment and remittance of premium contributions is mandatory.

Accordingly, our OFWs’ PhilHealth contribution rate will increase by .25% or from 2.75% to 3% for the year 2020 and an additional .5% every year until it reaches 5% (or by the year 2024).

But due to numerous petitions made which opposes the said increase of contribution, the President Rodrigo Duterte made his announcement regarding the matter yesterday, May 4,2020.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, “the President has issued a directive to PhilHealth to make the payment of premiums for OFWs on a voluntary basis.” He also said in the briefing that payment of premiums is no longer a requisite for the issuance of Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) which allows them to leave the country.