Pacquaio mulls for a 1 year freeze on the PhilHealth premium rate hike for health care professionals

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Senator Manny Pacquiao has filed a resolution calling for a one year suspension of the increase in PhilHealth premium contributions for health care professionals and other health care workers as a token of gratitude for unselfishly putting their lives on the line amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Resolution 429, urges the Senate to call for the ” suspension of the increase in Philhealth premium contributions for healthcare professionals and other health care workers applicable for the year 2020.”

Pacquiao filed the resolution as the Philippine Health Insurance ( PhilHealth) is poised to implement an increase in PhilHealth premium payments from 2.75% to 3 % of the monthly salary of their members.

This increase is provided under Republic Act No. 11223 or the Universal Health Care which automatically enrolls all Filipino citizens in the government’s National Health Insurance Program (NHIP). This shall be further raised annually until the premium rate reaches 5% by 2024.

“The first year of the implementation of the increased rate of premium contributions, coincided with the advent and continuation of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines. This has constrained most, if not all, health care professionals and other health care workers in the country sacrificing and risking their well-being and even their lives, to help cure the afflicted and stem the surge of transmission of the disease caused by the Covid-19 virus,” Pacquiao’s resolution said.

“These have resulted in the disruption of the professional practice of the health care professionals concomitantly leading to the marked decrease in the income of health care professionals and related health care workers, and to some, even to the closure of their clinics,” the resolution added.

Pacquiao said he is supporting the position of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) which is now pushing for the suspension of the premium payment increase as the government’s way of reciprocating the sacrifices of these primary COVID-19 frontliners.

“Such a suspension may help these frontliners in a small way, but the recognition and expression of gratitude will go a little farther to support them moving forward,” the resolution added./Stacy Ang

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