SC urged anew to stop PhilHealth rate hike

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

WOMEN workers and migrant advocates danced in front of the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday to call for a stop to the collection of higher monthly contribution from members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

"Workers and migrants are already paying taxes so the government can pay for health services, and PhilHealth especially with this premium hike is an additional burden," said Nitz Gonzaga, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) vice chairperson for women's affairs.

KMU earlier asked the SC to nullify the increase in contribution through PhilHealth Circulars 24, 25 and 27 issued on various dates in September last year.

According to the circulars, individually-paying PhilHealth members with a monthly income of P25,000 and below will now pay a premium rate of P2,400 annually.

Salaried PhilHealth members earning less than P9,000 per month will pay P200 per month, with the cost divided equally between employee and employer.

But the SC did not issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) after tackling the petition on February 11. It ordered Malacañang and PhilHealth to just comment on the petition and application for a TRO.

KMU also condemned the government for continuing to privatize public hospitals such as the Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital and the Philippine Orthopedic Center. The legality of POC's modernization plan is pending before the High Court.

"This government is a health disaster for wanting to increase poor Filipinos’ payments for hospitalization and health services. It is making health services inaccessible to the majority of our people and is therefore killing us softly," Gonzaga said.

The dance protest is part of the "One Billion Rising for Justice" international campaign against violence on women and children and preparations for this year's International Women’s Day celebration on Saturday. (Sunnex)

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