OPLE: PhilHealth premium raise may cause more illegal OFWs

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Photo: Daily Tribune

More Filipino workers may utilize leaving the country illegally if they are forced to pay higher premiums by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., an advocate reminded on Tuesday.

OFWs’ fixed premium rate annual rate of P2, 400 with an income-based rate is replaced by the implementing rules and regulations of the Universal Health Care (UHC).

Susan Ople, OFW advocate, said that Filipinos working abroad earning about P20, 000 will have to pay P6, 000 next year, with an annual increase, it would reach to P12, 000 in 2024.

THE IRR together with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration helps collect premiums, which could only mean that those who miss to pay might be difficult in securing employment certificates, a documentary requirement for working abroad.

“Maganda iyong layunin ng batas, pero kailangan bang singilin mo ng ganyan kalaki? E ilang taon bago pa mareporma iyong healthcare system,” Ople told ABS-CBN.

“Baka naman mamaya, mas marami na namang lumabas bilang turista at magtrabaho abroad kaysa dumaan sa legal na channels through the POEA para lang hindi sila mag-upfront ng napakaraming binabayaran,” she added.

Furthermore, PhilHealth faced various controversies of frauds and an accused member of mafia among its members.