SC urged to stop Philhealth premium hike

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

MILITANT workers under the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday to stop the increase in the premium contributions of members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) starting this year.

KMU said the increase, which will raise members' minimum monthly contribution from P750 to P1,000, is an added burden to workers already suffering from low wages and soaring prices.

It rejected PhilHealth’s excuse for the premium hike, saying the expansion of PhilHealth's coverage and the improvement of the insurance corporation’s benefits should be shouldered by the government, not by members.

"Yet, a look at the records of PhilHealth will show that it can attain these objectives without adopting the drastic increase in its contribution schedules," the petition stated.

The group also scored the state corporation for its controversial release of P1.5 billion in bonuses to its top officials and employees, which was flagged down by the Commission on Audit (COA).

"This only shows that if only respondent PhilHealth would only use its funds judiciously and would be less capricious in spending its funds, the need for contribution hikes from its members would be obviated," the petition read.

KMU earlier asked the High Court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the 0.6-percent increase in members’ premium contributions of Social Security System (SSS).

However, the SC only required Malacañang and the SSS management to comment on the petition within 10 days from receipt of the resolution issued on January 14.

KMU had said the hike would not be necessary to improve the benefits offered by the SSS to members or to extend the life of the agency’s funds. (Sunnex)

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