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Solon thanks Duterte

PhilHealth

For backing deferment of hike in PhilHealth premiums

A HOUSE leader on Tuesday thanked President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte for backing calls from various sectors to defer the increase in member contributions to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa Pangulo sa kanyang suporta. With close to 11 million Filipinos losing their jobs during the pandemic and many others facing a precarious situation, an increase in contributions would be a heavy burden to bear,” Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, chairman of the House committee on social services said.

The state health insurer had announced that it would collect higher monthly premiums starting January 1, in compliance with Republic Act (RA) No. 11223, or the Universal Health Care Act.

Vargas added that his committee would be willing to assist PhilHealth find alternative means to fund its programs.

A premium hike, no matter its legality, “is not the way to go,” he said.

He also made the same appeal to the Social Security System (SSS), which is also set to increase its contribution rate from 12 percent to 13 percent this month.

The increase is pursuant to R.A. No. 11199, or the Social Security Act of 2018, which mandates an increase of one percentage point from the year of implementation until it reaches 15 percent in 2025.

Vargas said should legislation be needed to postpone the two insurers’ premium hikes, he is certain Congress will act with urgency, as it had in matters of public interest.

“In the same light, we are also open to help SSS in exploring other ways to replenish their fund, rather than pass the burden to workers,” he said.