Philhealth has just published the Circular No 2020-0014 which states that it will implement a certain 3% increase in the premium contribution and collection of OFW members. According to the said memo, the contribution amount will be based on the OFW’s monthly income. For instance, if an OFW’s salary is Php 20,000 a month, he/she is required to contribute Php600 per month.
The following Filipinos working abroad, including their dependents are:
- Seafarers and workers with sea-based jobs.
- Land-based Filipino workers.
- Filipinos who are living abroad.
- Filipinos who hold dual citizenship.
- OFWs in distress.
- Others who are not classified as OFWs elsewhere.
All OFWs are required to adhere to this new circular – those who are living or working abroad, including those who are on vacation, waiting for documentation and registered or non-registered for NHIP or National Health Insurance Program. Whoever misses payments will get penalty and interest.
This year, 2020, is considered as a transition period, wherein a landbased OFW is allowed to pay Php 2,400 as initial payment while the yearly premium can be paid within twelve months. Land-based overseas Filipinos can pay every third week, sixth week and twelfth week while sea-based overseas Filipinos can pay their premium monthly, which will be automatically deducted by their employers or agencies.
As of this posting, a lot of Filipino workers around the world are expressing their dismay regarding this new circular order, saying that it’s too much of a burden for them since they are already struggling in paying for their health insurances and other taxes in their sponsor countries.
Overseas Filipinos are hailed as the new heroes but with this new memo, being called ‘bagong bayani’ is no longer an honor, but a scam. They are already sacrificing too much, working non-stop in a foreign country, away from their families and now, this.
How about you, do you think Philhealth Circular 2020-0014 is fair for our OFs? Please feel free to leave your comments below.