Senators laud PBMM suspension of PhilHealth rate hike

Senators laud PBMM suspension of PhilHealth rate hike

MANILA – Senators on Tuesday lauded the move of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to suspend the premium rate hike on Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) members

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said the cancellation of the monthly contribution would ease up the burden of the general population in these difficult times coming out of the pandemic.

Malacañang earlier announced the release of a memorandum asking PhilHealth and the Department of Health to suspend the increase of monthly contributions from its members.

The increase was originally set under the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act, which mandates a gradual increase in premium rates from 2.75 percent in 2019 to 3.5 percent in 2023, and eventually 5 percent in 2024.

“This suspension shows that the President knows and acts on the needs of our countrymen by bringing down the daily cost of expenses that everyone is burdened with, especially during this time of high inflation affecting everything from food to fuel,” Zubiri said.

Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, who is very vocal on the suspension of the increase in PhilHealth rate, said that he supports the President’s order, adding that “we need to be sensitive to the current circumstances and we need to adapt to the situation as we are still recovering from the pandemic.”

“The intention of the UHC is to improve the quality of lives of the Filipino people by giving access to good quality healthcare and not to be a burden,” Ejercito, principal author of UHC, said.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported an inflation of 8 percent in November 2022, the highest the country has since November 2008. This put the year-to-date inflation rate at 5.6 percent, which is beyond the 2 to 4 percent target range.

“The premium rate hikes may be established after we have brought down our inflation rate at a more comfortable level in the near future. Once again, we thank the President for this as this will allow a larger take-home pay for all salaried workers for the meantime,” Zubiri said. (PNA) 

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