Philippine body clears the air on premiums

Philippine body clears the air on premiums
Philippine body clears the air on premiums

Hello and welcome to the details of Philippine body clears the air on premiums and now with the details

Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - Photo has been used for illustrative purpose.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Monday distanced itself from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) which became controversial after recent weekend news announced that all overseas Filipino workers, estimated at over 12 million around the world, must contribute three per cent of their monthly salary to this agency in order to re-energise the ailing universal healthcare system of the Southeast Asian country.

POEA is among the attached government agencies to Manila’s Department of Labour and Employment (DoLE). It is responsible for the documentation of all OFWs as it oversees the legitimacy of all recruitment and manpower agencies contracting the sector for their overseas deployment or work.  Philhealth is the tax exempt government-owned-and-controlled corporation tasked to oversee and manage the universal health coverage of all Filipinos around the world.

Today received a copy of POEA Advisory No. 56 Series of 2020 signed by Administrator Bernardo P. Olalia stating that the agency has never come up with a resolution requiring all OFWs to pay Philhealth premiums in order that they would be issued their overseas employment certificates (OECs).

At Dhs10 each in the UAE, the OEC is issued to a vacationing OFW to the Philippines. Each OFW presents this document to officers assigned at any of the international airports in the Philippines before she/he checks in for her/his return trip to her/his overseas job site. The OEC denotes that the OFW is documented and returning to her/his overseas workplace.

POEA issued the advisory as the issuance and release of an OFW OEC has been linked to the controversial Philhealth new payment schedule.

At least over 600,000 OFWs around the globe signed two protest/petition papers against PhilHealth as of Sunday evening while those in Hong Kong staged a rally on Monday.

The advisory reads: “The POEA hereby informs the public that since the passage of Republic Act 11223, otherwise known as the Philippine Universal Health Care Act, the POEA Governing Board, a tripartite policymaking body with DoLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III as its Chairperson, has not passed a resolution that authorises the POEA to require OFWs to pay PhilHealth premiums in their application for the issuance of OECs.

“As such, the public is assured that POEA systems and processes on the issuance of OECs are currently not linked with that of PhilHealth, and is consistent with the directive of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to ease OFWs of additional burden by suspending the collection of higher premiums from OFWs. Likewise, the POEA is compliant with the same presidential directive to recognise the payment of PhilHealth membership contribution as voluntary.”

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