Saturday, January 28, 2012

Phil Health Premiums Increased By 150% For OFW's

I just had my home leave last December of 2011 and as usual, I went to POEA satellite office at Clark Pampanga to secure my Overseas Exit Clearance (OEC). I was initially planning to just secure my OEC online via the "Balik Manggagawa Program" for the returning OFW's. This program was initiated by the government to allow the OFW's to spend quality time with their families instead of wasting one day of their vacation just to process the OEC. I was glad that they came up with this idea. Mind you, if you go to the POEA office at NCR or even at the satellite offices, you will really end up spending the whole day just to go through this process. However, during my recent vacation, I was disappointed to know after I log in at Teleserv that securing OEC online is temporarily suspended until further notice. I asked one staff at Teleserv on what was the reason behind the suspension, but she also cannot give me a direct answer. I have no choice then but to proceed to the POEA office at Clark Pampanga. To my dismay, so many new things are coming up. By "new things", perhaps you already can guess what I am referring to. Tadah! More fees to pay... that's it!

FYI, starting July this year, premiums for Phil Health for the poor OFW's will increase by 150%. Yes, I repeat, 150%. From the original Php900 annual contribution, this will now be Php2,400. When I was waiting for my name to be called at the Phil Health desk for verification of my membership, I was shocked to see the advisory posted at the wall. After reading it, I approached one Phil Health staff seated at the counter and asked, why is there such a big increase in our premiums? I asked him if there are added benefits, from which he replied, "the added benefits were long given prior to the said increase". I asked him for any pamphlet available to see what really changes in the benefit package but after reading it, I can hardly notice one.

Come to think of it, why does the government in collaboration with this health agency would pass on their financial burden to OFW's knowing that the Phil Health is faced with around Php 20 billion arrears in budget. Is it because they know that OFW's will simply obliged to them? Is it because they are thinking that OFW's earn quite a big amount of money and that 150% increase is nothing to us? Or is it because they know for a fact that we don't have a choice?

Some of our brothers and sisters working in the Middle East had already expressed their protest to stop this premium hike comes July.

I felt very much disgraced by how our country is treating OFW's whom they always labeled as the "modern day heroes" for our substantial contribution in uplifting the Philippine economy. If that's the case, then why put the burden to OFW's? We go out of the country to work for our families, to give them a better future and to continually cope up with the rising cost of basic goods and services in our country. We do sacrifice for our goals, we sustain the difficulties of being in a foreign land. We are not "milking cows".

How many OFW's do we have? Millions? Php1,500 additional contribution per OFW per year equals to how much? I won't answer this question. Just do your math and you'll see. :)

Hope the government will try to reconsider this decision. They can increase the premium but 150% is a way too much.

What do you think?

9 comments:

KM said...

nabasa ko na 'to i think last month, may nag post din na friend ko status nya sa facebook. although malaki ang natutulong ng PhilHealth, para nga naman kasing sobrang taas yung 150%.

Sarah said...

I think in Davao it was not implemented in POEA yet because I think I paid the same thing with the last vacation I had. I really feel you and agree all the the things you have mentioned in your post. According to my friend, that last December also they were asked to pay an additional amount for PAG-IBIG Fund.He was like paying almost 2000 or a little less than that. I feel bad about it because I don't want to be a PAG-IBIG Fund member because I have heard many bad feedbacks about it. Yes, it will be for savings but you can't withdraw it anytime.We are at still at the losing in if that's the case. I hope our government will straighten some of their laws and implementations.

By the way, I really find your page very interesting. I could relate much of your posts.:)

Sarah said...

*losing end

Rovie said...

Sobrang laki naman ng increase... at hindi naman laging nagagamit ang philhealth although nakakatulong din pag nansyan na ang need...

Sana naman wag gawing "milking cows" ang mga OFW kasi mas nangangailangan din ang mga families nila...

krizza said...

@ KM, ever since naman nakasuporta ang OFW's sa bansa at sa gobyerno pero sana lang, maging fair naman. They also have to give what is due to us. Di puro pagpasan ng burdens at deficit ng bansa. Okay naman magtaas eh, pero sobra naman yung 150%.Damang dama naman yun. :)

krizza said...

@ Sarah, actually Sis, for implementation pa lang yung premium hike. Bale sa July pa yun effective. naka post lang yung advisory kaya nabasa ko. Ako din parehas pa din yung binayaran ko last month nung nag renew ako pero by next na uwi ko, yung bagong rate na. Kaya nga sana wag naman ituloy.

Sis, thank you for your substantial inputs in this post and for liking my page. You put a smile in my face. :) Oh, I noticed that you followed me too via GFC. I can't thank u enough. Thank u and hope to see more of you here. :)

krizza said...

@ Rovie, oo nga Sis. Nakaktulong din naman ang Phil Health pero majority of the services and benefits di namin naa avail. Minsan parang feeling namin, "harang"!! Masabi lang na may babayaran kami kada renew ng OEC. Hehehe.

Stay at Home Blessings said...

Hi Krizza. That is too much; not all OFWs can afford to pay more. Besides, some do not even feel the benefit of their contribution like us since we are covered with medical insurance by my husband's company.

But soon, we may have to depend on PhilHealth if we really are going home for good.

KRIZZA said...

@ Chin, yes Chin 150% is too much. Kadalasan talaga di nagagamit yung benefits sa Phil Health kahit yung sa Out patient services kasi may mga accredited lang na hospitals na sobrang layo naman sa place mo kaya go ka na lang sa nearest hospital. Sana kahit bawasan lang yung 150% na yun. Mabigat kasi yun sa ibang OFW.

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