Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas and her colleagues in the Makabayan bloc have filed a resolution seeking an urgent review of Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Healthcare Law amid the clamor of overseas Filipino workers against Philhealth’s premium hike and mandatory OFW contribution.
In House Resolution 827 filed electronically on May 5, Gabriela and other Makabayan lawmakers said there was a need to urgently review the UHC law, along with its Implementing Rules and Regulations, “with the goal of repealing the incremental premium rate hike for direct contributors, as well as the classification of migrant workers as direct contributors.”
“Nasa Universal Healthcare Law, na pinirmahan mismo ng Pangulong Duterte, ang ugat ng pabigat na Philhealth premium rate hike gayundin ang mandatory OFW contribution. Kaya dapat na kagyat itong i-review at amyendahan,” Brosas said.
The Gabriela lawmaker also noted that the Office of the President “has not yet sent a formal communication to Philhealth regarding President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to suspend the premium rate hike.”
“Hindi pwedeng verbal lang ang utos ng Pangulo. Kailangang kongkreto ang maging aksyon kaugnay ng malaganap na reklamo ng ating mga kababayan na gustong pigain ng Philhealth gayong humaharap na nga tayo sa Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
She said the committee on health should hold meetings over online platforms to tackle the resolution and to hear the position of various migrant groups regarding the issue, especially as Congress is in session until early June.
“Noon pa man, we have been expressing our reservations regarding the Universal Healthcare Law for institutionalizing the corporatized and profit-driven character of our healthcare system. It is about time that we overhaul this. Milking our OFWs dry should not be part of the new normal,” Brosas said.
The Makabayan bloc will also file a bill making OFW’s Philhealth contribution voluntary and to totally scrap the hefty Philhealth percentage-based premium rates.