The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is not keen on making permanent the payment of migrant workers contributions on a voluntary basis.
According to PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales said this might compromise the rollout of the country’s national health insurance program.
Morales clarified that the voluntary payment of OFWs premiums is only valid during the national health emergency.
President Rodrigo Duterte has previously ordered the insurance agency to make the payment of premiums for OFWs voluntary after they protested the circular mandating them to pay three percent of their monthly salaries this year.
According to the previous circular, OFWs leaving the home country are required to pay an initial Php2,400 before the issuance of their overseas employment certificates (OEC), which is an integral document before flying out of the country.
PhilHealth’s president said that while they complied with Duterte’s directive, the agency cannot make the permanent the voluntary payment unless the law is amended.
“Regarding the voluntary aspect, because that is specified in the law, I think it will need an amendment of the law so it will become voluntary. In the OEC, we have no problem, we will already eliminate that,” Morales said.