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170 OFW groups up in arms vs. hike in PhilHealth premium

A total of 170 groups of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from various countries are up in arms against PhilHealth's move to hike contributions from migrant workers and are calling for its immediate stop.

In a joint statement, the 170 OFW groups called for a moratorium on all state’s collection during the period of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and recession.

Migrante International said instead of building more pro-people infrastructures for public health services and establishing a genuine universal health care program where medical and health services are free, the administration “is clinging on to neoliberal economic policies that extort money from the public to fill the coffers of big private entities.”

“This in itself is legalized theft that preys on our already overburdened Filipino migrants,” it said.

PhilHealth recently issued a circular increasing the premium payments of OFWs whose monthly income ranged from P10,000 to P60,000 to 3% of their monthly salary starting this year. The state-insurer said this is stated in the Universal Health Care Law, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in February 2019.

An online petition on has since been mounted to repeal the measure, given the effects of the global health crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic.

PhilHealth, in response to the controversy, said it up to Congress, which resumes session on Monday, to review the hike in OFW premium payments. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, who authored the bill when he was a party-list lawmaker, said the part about increasing OFW premium payments was not included in his bill.

PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales said President Rodrigo Duterte is looking at options to address the protests from OFWs.

PhilHealth is a tax-exempt government corporation attached to the Department of Health (DOH) mandated to administer the National Health Insurance Program, which provides health care services to all Philippine citizens.

The statement of opposition against the increase in collection was signed by the following groups:

1.            Migrante International (Global Alliance of Filipino Migrant Orgs in 24 countries)


2.                   Migrante Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

3.                   Gabriela Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


4.                   Migrante Qatar


5.                   Gabriela United Arab Emirates


6.                   Migrante Seattle, USA

7.                   Migrante Portland, USA

8.                   Migrante Napa-Solano, USA

9.                   Migrante Daly City, USA

10.               PAWIS East Bay, USA

11.                PAWIS San Jose, USA

12.                Migrante Los Angeles, USA

13.                Migrante Long Beach, USA

14.                Migrante Orange County, USA

15.                Migrante New York, USA

16.               Migrante New Jersey, USA

17.               Migrante Youth New York, USA

18.               Migrante Chicago, USA

19.               Migrante Washington D.C., USA


20.               Migrante Manitoba, Canada

21.                Migrante BC, Canada,

22.               Migrante Alberta, Canada

23.               Migrante Ontario, Canada

24.               Migrante Ottawa, Canada

25.               Alberta Care Workers Association, Canada

26.               Kabisig Society of Fort Saskatchewan

27.               Philippine Migrant Society of Canada (PMSC)

28.               PINAY, Canada

29.               Association of Filipino Parents, Quebec, Canada

30.               Filipino Indigenous Association of Quebec, Canada

31.               Aklanon Association

32.               Migrante Canada


33.               Anakbayan Europe

34.               Campaign for the Human Rights in the Philippines, United Kingdom

35.               Europe Network for Justice and Peace in the Philippines

36.               Federation of Domestic Workers Association (FDWA), UK

37.               Filipino Ecumenical Migrants Ministry – IFI,

38.               FOA-Au Pair, Denmark

39.               Gabriela Germany

40.               Gabriela London

41.               Gabriela Roma

42.               Gabriela Switzerland

43.               Kabalikat Netherlands

44.               Kanlungan Filipino Consortium, UK

45.               Makabayang Samahang Pilipino (MkSP), Netherlands

46.               Migrante Austria

47.               Migrante Bologna, Italy

48.               Migrante Como, Italy

49.               Migrante Denmark

50.               Migrante Europe

51.               Migrante Firenze, Italy

52.               Migrante Iceland

53.               Migrante Ireland

54.               Migrante Mantova

55.               Migrante Milano

56.               Migrante Netherlands Amsterdam

57.               Migrante Netherlands Den Haag

58.               Migrante Utrecht

59.               Migrante UK

60.               Migrante Zurich

61.               Milan OFW Kapitbisig

62.               Nagkakaisang Pilipino sa Pransya

63.               Pinay sa Holland – Gabriela

64.               Promotion of Church People’s Response Europe

65.               Samahan ng mga Kabataan sa Netherlands (SAMAKA-NL)

66.               Sentro Pilipino Chaplaincy (SPC)

67.               Ugnayang Pilipino sa Belgium (UPB)

68.               Umangat Migrante

69.               Babaylan Germany


70.               MIGRANTE Aotearoa New Zealand

71.               MIGRANTE Aotearoa – Palmerston North

72.               MIGRANTE Aotearoa – Christchurch

73.               PINAY Aotearoa – New Zealand

74.               Migrante Builders Aotearoa


75.               Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG), New Zealand

76.               MIGRANTE Australia

77.               Lingap Migrante – Western Sydney Australia

78.               Migrante North Hornsby, Sydney Australia

79.               Migrante South West – Sydney

80.               Philippines Australia Women’s Association

81.               Migrante Kultura

82.               Migrante Melbourne

83.               Migrante Melbourne East

84.               Migrante Melbourne North – Samahang Tatak Pinoy

85.               Migrante Melbourne Northeast

86.               Migrante Melbourne West

87.               Migrante Perth, Australia

88.               Advance League of People’s Artists (ALPA), Australia

89.               AnakBayan Sydney

90.               AnakBayan Melbourne

91.               BAYAN Australia

92.               Gabriela Australia

93.               Gabriela Greater Sydney

94.               Gabriela Victoria

95.               Gabriela Perth

96.               Philippines Studies Network in Australia (PINAS)

97.               Promotion for Church People’s Response (PCPR) Australia


98.               United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)

99.               Abra Migrant Workers Welfare Association

100.            Association of Concerned Filipinos

101.            Cuyapo OFW Association Hong Kong

102.            Filipino Friends

103.            Filipino Lesbian Organization

104.            Filipino Migrant Domestic Workers Union

105.            Filipino Migrants Association

106.            Filipino Women Migrant Association

107.            Friends of Bethune House

108.            Likha Filipino Migrants Cultural Organization

109.            Luzviminda Migrante

110.            Migrante Naguilian

111.            Migrante Pier

112.            Migrante Shatin

113.            Migrante Tamar

114.            Migrante Tsing Ti

115.            Migrante Tsuen Wan

116.            Migrante Yuen Long

117.            Migranteng Artista ng Bayan

118.            Organic Cultural and Environmental Organization

119.            Philippine Independent Church Choir

120.            Pinatud A Saleng Ti Umili (PSU)

121.            Pangasinan Organization for Welfare, Empowerment and Rights

122.            Samahang Migrante

123.            Sta Maria Migrants Association

124.            Women of Philippine Independent Church – WOPIC Antique

125.            Filipino Migrant Workers’ Union (FMWU)

126.            FMWU City Hall Chapter

127.            FMWU Chater Garden Chapter

128.            FMWU Chater Road Chapter

129.            Abra Tinguian Ilocano Society

130.            Annak ti Maeng Tubo-HK

131.            Baggak Cultural Group

132.            Bangued Migrants Workers Association

133.            Bucay Migrants Workers

134.            Bucloc Overseas Workers Association

135.            Ganagan San Juan Association

136.            Lacub Migrants

137.            Lagangilang Overseas Association

138.            Langiden Migrants Organization

139.            Lapaz Migrants Association

140.            Licuan-Baay HK Association

141.            Maeng Tribe of Abra Luba-HK

142.            Malibcong Migrants Association

143.            Timpuyog Ti Tayum

144.            BAYAN Hong Kong & Macau

145.            Cordillera Alliance Hong Kong (CORALL)

146.            GABRIELA Hong Kong

147.            Gabriela Hong Kong Bank

148.            Filguys Association

149.            Filipino Lesbians Organization (FILO)

150.            Promotion of Church Peoples’ Response (PCPR) – Hong Kong

151.            Danza Filipina

152.            DOMO Hong Kong

153.            Women Dance Club the Original HK

154.            The Silent Majority Hong Kong

155.            FilReflex - Filipino Reflexologists Hong Kong

156.            HK CIASI 61892

157.            Federation of Luzon Alliance Group  (FLAG) of Hong Kong

158.            National Organization of Professional Teachers (NOPT) Hong Kong


159.            KAFIN Saitama – Migrante

160.            MIGRANTE Japan


161.            MIGRANTE Macau


162.            KASAMMAKO – Katipunan ng mga Samahan ng Migranteng Manggawa sa Korea

163.            New Era Foundation

164.            Pag-Iribang Bicolnon in Korea

165.            TERESA

166.            Osan Migrants Centre

167.            MIGRANTE Taiwan

168.            ACTION – Association of Concerned Filipinos in Thailand


169.            Migrante Youth

170.            Migrante Philippines

--KBK, GMA News

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