The Gabriela Women’s Party on Tuesday led the filing of a Joint resolution seeking to defer the PhilHealth premium hike set to take effect in June amid rising consumer prices.
Citing the unabated price hikes affecting workers and still unresolved issues at the state insurance firm, Resolution 41 aims to block the implementation of PhilHealth Advisory No. 2022-0010 imposing a four- percent premium rate increase on all direct contributors.
“Such premium rate hike will also equate to higher income deductions for wage and salary workers who are struggling with nonstop price hikes of basic goods and services,” the resolution stated.
Assistant minority leader and Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas, along with other Makabayan lawmakers, sought to freeze the PhilHealth premium rate at the current 3.5 percent for the rest of 2022, effectively delaying the contribution schedule as provided under the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act.
The joint resolution, if adopted, will have the same effect of a law.
“PhilHealth has a P79.9-billion subsidy under the 2022 budget, which it could tap to augment benefit payments instead of further squeezing Filipino workers with a higher monthly contribution,” Brosas said.
The lawmaker, who is set to serve her third term in the 19th Congress, said she will push for the amendment of the UHC Act to remove the automatic increases in the premium rate of PhilHealth’s direct contributors.
Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro echoed Brosas’ appeal, stressing the deferment of the higher PhilHealth premium is even more necessary as the four percent premium hike will further burden the already suffering Filipino workers with the measly wage increase and high inflation rate.
“We urge the PhilHealth to suspend the whopping 4 percent premium hike amounting to P400 up to P3,200 deduction from the already meager salaries of workers,” Castro said.
“We join our fellow Makabayan lawmakers in pushing for the suspension of the increases in the PhilHealth premium rate for June 2022 as directed under PhilHealth Advisory No. 2022-0010,” Castro added.