Sat. May 8th, 2021

Business groups and trade unions have welcomed the temporary suspension of contribution increase for members of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), which will provide relief to stakeholders amid the ongoing health and economic crisis.

“As we are all well aware, workers and employers, both contributors to the funds, are still suffering from the debilitating effects and threats of the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic. A suspension of the increase is one of the immediate interventions that (the) government can provide to the economy and its stakeholders as we all try to recover from this crisis,” the Leaders Forum said in a statement Monday.

The Leaders Forum is a bipartite committee composed of business groups Employers Confederation of the Philippines, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. as well as labor groups Federation of Free Workers, Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa, and Trade Union Congress of the Philippines.

Early this month, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the deferment of the scheduled contribution hike for PhilHealth members.

The Leaders Forum said it finds the adjustment on PhilHealth contributions as inappropriate amid the alleged corruption in the state-owned health insurance corporation.

“Until these issues are cleared and addressed, we find no moral ground for the rate hike, collections from which may again be lost to the same corrupt practices,” the bipartite committee added.

The group also called for the suspension of the contribution hike for members of the Social Security System (SSS).

“(We) reiterate our call for the government to suspend the imposition of the 1-percent SSS premium increase,” the Leaders Forum said. “We find the increases untimely since millions of workers have lost their jobs or have been asked to report for work sparingly with many companies either on skeletal working arrangements or have temporarily or permanently shut down.” SOVEREIGNPH

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