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President Rodrigo Duterte orders the Philippine Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to not require Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to pay premium.
The moratorium came after a new PhilHealth circular drew flak from families of OFWs and OFW groups.
Circular 2020-0014 increases the premium payments of OFWs whose monthly income ranged from P10,000 to P60,000 to 3% of their monthly salary starting this year.
Netizens online said the OFWs don't deserve the increase, especially during this time of pandemic.
An online petition was also made to urge PhilHealth to scrap the directive. It now gained more than 300,000 signatures since the campaign started in late April.
Roque said circular not from his authored law
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier clarified that the circular was not mandated by the Universal Health Care law he authored, but is included in the IRR by PhilHealth that was signed by Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“Alam niyo po ang masasabi ko lang, wala po sa batas na aking isinulong na nagsasabi na dapat ipataw ‘yung ganitong hirap sa mga OFWs,” Roque said in a televised interview.
“Wala po sa batas yan, yan po’y nasa Implementing Rules and Regulations ng PhilHealth at ang namuno po sa pagsulat ng Implementing Rules and Regulations ay PhilHealth mismo,” he added.