Duterte favors delaying PhilHealth contribution hike

By: Krissy Aguilar - Inquirer.net | January 04,2021 - 09:18 AM

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is in favor of deferring the increase in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) members’ contribution while the country faces the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Base sa usapan namin ni Pangulong Duterte, sang-ayon naman po siya na ipagpaliban pansamantala muna ang pagtaas sa rates ng contributions ng PhilHealth habang may pandemya pa tayong kinakaharap,” Duterte’s former aide and senator Christopher “Bong” Go said Sunday in a statement.

(Based on my conversation with President Duterte, he is amenable to temporarily defer the increase of contribution rates in PhilHealth while we continue to face the pandemic.)

According to Go, Duterte is willing to sign a measure deferring the increase in contributions or to approve augmenting more funds to PhilHealth to allow them to continue offering their services to the Filipino people.

“Subalit, alam rin ng Pangulo na kailangan ng batas para maisakatuparan ang deferment, at kailangan ring masigurong hindi maaapektuhan ang serbisyo ng PhilHealth sa taumbayan,” Go said.

(Although the President knows that a law is needed to implement the deferment and it must be assured that this will not affect the services of PhilHealth to the public.)

“Sinabi niya na kung may maipapasang batas ang Lehislatibo na naglalayong ipatupad ang deferment, o kung may kailangang aprubahan na dagdag na pondo mula gobyerno para hindi maantala ang serbisyo ng PhilHealth, pipirmahan niya ito pagkatapos mapag-aralan ng mabuti,” he added.

(He said that if the legislative could pass a law aiming to implement the deferment or if there is a need to approve additional funds from the government so as not to delay PhilHealth’s services, he will sign this after careful study.)

Despite the recent controversies of corruption in PhilHealth, the state insurer decided to proceed with the increase in members’ contributions starting this month.

This year, the premium rate of PhilHealth members will increase to 3.5 percent of their monthly basic salary, from 3 percent in 2020.

According to PhilHealth, the Universal Health Care Act mandates increases in member premiums by 0.5 every year, beginning 2021 until it reaches the 5-percent limit in 2025.

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