DUBAI – Nearly 30,000 people have signed an online petitions calling for the removal of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (Phil Health) mandatory 3 percent premium payment from the monthly salaries of Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) members.

Click Here For Petitions

The petitions on Change.Org has amassed 29,581 signatories as of 10:50pm on Tuesday (April 28). It stems from a recently published PhilHealth circular making it mandatory for OFWs to pay a monthly membership premium equivalent to 3 percent of their salary.

According to the circular published on Phil Health’s official Facebook account on April 22, OFWs will need to declare and show proof of their monthly salaries and make a 3 percent payment towards their Phil Health membership every month based on their salary. Those who miss a payment will be required to pay all missed contributions with monthly compounded interest.

The circular was signed by Phil health President and CEO Ricardo Morales in April.

What’s it all about?

According to Phil Health, the circular is aimed at setting “clear guidelines on implementation of new set of premium contribution and collection of payment from Overseas Filipinos”.

The new directive covers all overseas Filipinos working and living abroad, including seafarers, Filipinos with dual citizenship, and even OFW in distress or undocumented Filipinos.

According to Phil Health, the “premium of overseas Filipinos shall be computed based on their monthly income to be paid in Philippine peso equivalent”.

Members have the option to pay the annual premium in full or pay an initial premium of P2,400 and quarterly payments thereafter within 2020.

By January 1, 2021, PhilHealth said that the minimum initial payment will be equivalent to a 3-month premium. Members will have the option to pay in full or make quarterly payments within one year. Seafarers will have their monthly payments deducted from their salaries.