Tag Archives: Philippine Health Insurance Corporation

[Petition] PHILHEALTH: Itigil ang napipintong dagdag bayad sa premium mula P1,200 na magiging P2,400 simula sa Enero 2014 -Change.org

Pinepetisyon si PhilHealth President & CEO Alex Padilla
PHILHEALTH: Itigil ang napipintong dagdag bayad sa premium mula P1,200 na magiging P2,400 simula sa Enero 2014

Petisyon ni lee canete sa change.org

Sa darating na Enero 2014 ay sisimulan na ng PHILIPPINE HEALTH INSURANCE CORPORATION na gawing P2,400 ang babayaran kada taon ng bawat OFW na member ng Philhealth. Doble ito ng binabayaran ngayon na P1,200.

Ito’y hindi makatarungan. Karamihan sa aming mga OFW ay hindi nakakagamit ng benepisyong dapat na ibigay ng Philhealth.


Karamihan sa mga OFW ay mga wala pang asawa at ang kanilang mga magulang ay hindi pa umaabot sa edad na 60 na syang batayan ng Philhealth upang ang magulang ng isang miyembro ay makagamit ng mga benepisyong pang medikal ng Philhealth.

Kailangan ding ayusin ng Philhealth ang mga patakarang kanilang pinatutupad bago makakuha ng benepisyo ang isang miembro ng Philhealth.

Maraming miyembro ang hindi makagamit ng benepisyo dahil lamang sa pagpalya sa paghulog ng isang buwan. Ano ang silbi ng ilang taon na hulog ng isang miembro kung sa pagpalya lamang ng kanyang hulog para sa isang buwan ay hindi sya makakagamit ng kanyang Philhealth? Saan napupunta ang kanyang mga naunang kontribusyon kung ganitong patakaran ang kanilang paiiralin?

Bago silang sumingil ng dagdag na premium, dapat buksan ng Philhealth ang kanilang librong pang pinansyal at ipakita nila sa publiko kung saan napupunta ang pondo ng bayan, lalo na ang kontribusyon ng mga OFW.

Hiling din ng sektor ng mga OFW na gawing OPTIONAL at hindi MANDATORY ang pag member sa Philhealth. Bigyan nila ng karapatan ang taumbayan na mag desiyon para sa kanyang sarili kung nais nyang mag miembro sa Philhealth.

Sign petition @www.change.org

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[Statement] Aquino Must Intensify Truthful Information Drive on PhilHealth and Benefits -KAMP

Amended PhilHealth is Health Insurance Coverage, Not Universal Health Care
Aquino Must Intensify Truthful Information Drive on PhilHealth and Benefits

President Aquino’s administration piggy-backs its Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP) drive on the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). It even dubs the newly amended National Health Insurance Act (R.A. 10606), which revises policies governing programs and operations of PhilHealth, as the Philippine Universal Health Care Law.


Additional and enhanced benefit packages are a welcome improvement but insurance against health risks will not guarantee every Filipino’s access to health care, which includes health promotion and maintenance, disease prevention and medical intervention in times of illness. Further, not even a mandatory PhilHealth coverage for all Filipino citizens will ensure that members will be able to claim much-needed health services when they do not even know the existence of such programs, are not aware of the process of availment and cannot and/or do not know how to comply with the attendant documentary requirements.

These issues and more surfaced during the civil society forum, “Universal Health Care: Posible ba sa Amended PhilHealth?” held last Friday, 27 September 2013, in Quezon City through the joint effort of health advocates Action for Economic Reforms, Alternative Budget Initiative Health Cluster of Social Watch Philippines, Coalition for Health Advocacy and Transparency, WomanHealth Philippines and the Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP).

During the event, more than 100 representatives from different organizations—women, informal settlers, differently abled, persons with genetic disorders, labor unions, youth and the elderly—engaged PhilHealth officers in shedding light on salient points of the amended law, its implementing rules and regulations (IRR), membership contributions and benefits, and mechanisms for people’s participation in monitoring and further improving the corporation’s operations and health insurance coverage.

What became clear during the discussion were the limited spaces for the public to engage PhilHealth as exemplified by the seemingly rushed public consultation on the new IRR, absence of/inadequate mechanisms for public participation in decision-making processes, and weak information and education campaigns. It was also stressed that the corporation’s programs remain focused on curative interventions and will still entail significant out-of-pocket payments for non-sponsored members. This highly questions the universal health care thrust of the Aquino administration considering the negligible difference in incomes, thus ability to pay, between sponsored members who are below the poverty threshold and the supposed “non-poor” who are above it.

Access to primary care benefits, such as consultation and counselling services for disease prevention and diagnostic examinations, is also presently limited to Sponsored Members or those whose membership contributions are paid by government agencies or other entities such as private companies or individuals. Those identified under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction of the Department of Social Welfare and Development are eligible as beneficiaries of the Sponsored member program.

Since the Aquino administration seems to be using a targeted or selective approach instead of universalism and confuses universal health insurance coverage with universal health care, it is urgent that it comes out with its time frame in rolling out policies and programs to address health needs of every Filipino. Unless, PNoy and government health agencies are content with the Kalusugan Pangkalahatan propaganda line and in repackaging insurance as health care, in the same way it is attempting to repackage the highly controversial pork barrel system.

As for us in the civil society network of health advocates, we immediately demand the opening and enlargement of spaces for people’s participation in public health issues and public provision for health care starting with broader access to information and an intensified, and TRUTHFUL, awareness-raising campaign on PhilHealth. ###

Serbisyong Pangkalusugan: Saan Man, Sino Man, Kailan Man

Makataong Pamumuhay para sa Lahat !


1 October 2013

For Interviews: Ana Maria R. Nemenzo, Lead Convenor
For Correspondence: Don Pangan, Media Liaison Staff
Email: kamp.secretariat@gmail.com
Phone: 0927-3477205

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[Press Release] Solons, top officials asked to lower pay to minimum wage -PM

Solons, top officials asked to lower pay to minimum wage


The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) challenged senators, congressional representatives and top executive government officials to lower their pay to the level of a minimum wage earner. “If our peak legislative and executive officials are in position for public service and not to wallow in pork then they should be amenable to a radical pay cut. Besides they can better craft law and policies beneficial to the masses once they experience the life of the ordinary worker,” asserted Renato Magtubo, PM chair.

The labor group issued this call as people mobilized today for the anti-pork barrel protest in Luneta and other key cities in the country. PM’s chapters in Metro Manila and Southern Tagalog are joining the Luneta rally this morning while its members in Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo and Iligan are also participating in similar activities in the provinces.

PM is advocating an “Apat na Dapat” set of demands to address the pork barrel scandal. First, the abolition of all forms of pork barrel, principally the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the Presidential Social Fund (PSF) and the special purpose funds. Second, the realignment of pork to fund universal social protection from Philhealth coverage to public employment. Third, people’s participation in the budget process from identification of programs and projects to evaluation. And last, the passage of the Freedom of Information bill to enhance transparency and accountability in government spending.

Magtubo said that workers are interested in the protest against pork barrel since through the system of withholding taxes, employed people are taxed on time and pay fully. “Even the informal sector of the working class—the urban and rural poor—pay more than their fair share of taxes since every good and service they buy has value-added tax,” he added.

“But workers do not just want to curb corruption by abolishing the pork barrel. We also want to curtail patronage by removing the discretion of politicians in the delivery of social services. Public services must be accessible to all Filipinos as a right without the need to beg for the indulgence of politicians.” Magtubo explained.

“Just to cite an example, realigning the proposed P25.2 billion PDAF in 2014 can pay Philhealth premiums for a year to 14 million Filipinos, a third of the adult population. The PSF and other presidential pork like the Malampaya funds can cover the Philhealth coverage of the rest of the population to ensure universal health insurance in one stroke,” Magtubo ended.

Press Release
August 26, 2013
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Renato Magtubo @ 09178532905

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Press Release] PM hits DOH for “poor eyesight”

PM hits DOH for “poor eyesight”


Militant labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) derided Department of Health Secretary Enrique Ona’s press briefing statement that they “could not locate the addresses of the poor in order to deliver their PhilHealth cards.” This is totally absurd because the poor can be found queuing where ever there is available health assistance to as low as P200 – charity windows of hospitals, district and Congress offices of House and Senate members, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, urban poor communities including danger zones, etc.

Likewise, LGUs are very much connected with local public hospitals where the poor seek health services every day. Does this mean that the DOH has become like local officials who can only identify the poor during elections?

It is a shame that the Health Department does not have only “poor eyesight” but has, likewise, become an expert in making poor excuses in its failure to deliver quality health services to poor Filipinos.

Since it seems the Health Department has ran out of ideas, PM demands that PhilHealth and the DOH allow poor members of people’s organizations to troop in groups to local hospitals to sign up for PhilHealth membership. This way, the poor themselves will get their PhilHealth cards upon signing up to save the DOH from further difficulties and embarrassment.

Partido ng Manggagawa (PM)
1 August 2013
Contact Judy Ann Miranda @ 09175570777, 09228677522

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

Memorandum of agreement ensures PhilHealth coverage of Iloilo province indigents | Sun.Star

Memorandum of agreement ensures PhilHealth coverage of Iloilo province indigents | Sun.Star.

March 13, 2012

INDIGENTS and service volunteers in the province of Iloilo can be assured of continued membership in PhilHealth insurance following the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Provincial Government and PhilHealth Tuesday.

The MOA secures PhilHealth coverage for more than 8,000 barangay service volunteers composed of health workers, day care workers, service point officers, nutrition scholars and more than 60,000 indigents for two years.

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Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. also pushed for the enrolment of all barangay officials in the province to PhilHealth.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[In the news] South Cotabato taps NGO for cheaper meds -MindaNews

MindaNews » South Cotabato taps NGO for cheaper meds.

By Allen V. Estabillo
February 24, 2012

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/23 February) – The provincial government of South Cotabato has linked up with a local non-government organization to help provide cheaper medicine packages for various surgical and medical needs of poor residents in the area.

South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy Jr. said they forged an agreement with the Dole Philippines-funded Mahintana Foundation to allow the group to supply P1.7 million worth of surgical and medicine packages for the use of poor patients of the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital in nearby Koronadal City.

“This is to ensure the availability of ready and cheaper medicine packs for the surgical and medical operations that would be availed by our poor patients,” he told reporters.

Under the program, Pingoy said Mahintana will provide medicine packages for surgeries and other hospital services involving beneficiaries of the indigency program of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation or PhilHealth.

He said the cost of the medicine packs would be charged directly by the hospital to PhilHealth and the patients would not be paying anything upon availing them.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

[In the news] PhilHealth to increase members’ contribution from P1,200 to P2,400 -MindaNews.com

MindaNews » PhilHealth to increase members’ contribution from P1,200 to P2,400.

February 6, 2012

DAVAO CITY – The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation is looking at increasing contribution of its members from P1,200 to P2,400  effective July 1, Dr. Eduardo Banzon, president and chief executive officer, said.

Banzon said the increase on contribution is based on Circular 22  approved last December. Under this circular, members can avail of the old rate by paying their contribution before June 30. They can also avail of the rate if they pay their 2013 contribution before the deadline.

By July 1, members, including those newly-registered will have to pay an annual contribution of P2,400, he said.

But Banzon added, “pwede pa siya maglock in sa old rate kung magsign siya ng (they can lock in on the old rate if they sign a) memorandum of agreement and commit to pay their contribution of two consecutive years.”

Banzon said PhilHealth hopes to double its collection from P32 billion last year to P60 billion this year.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

[Blog] Achieving Universal Health Coverage by Medical Action Group

Rx for the Ailing Health Sector: PhilHealth reforms

By the Medical Action Group

 IN MARCH 2011, Dr Shin Young-soo, the World Health Organization’s regional director for the Western Pacific expressed concern over “the continued absence of sufficient healthcare coverage in the country.” The WHO official noted that some 250,000 families “fall into financial hardships” because of the excessive cost of health care.

This observation comes in the midst of the Aquino administration’s avowed push for Universal Health Coverage, especially for indigent Filipino families, as one of its health agenda. Such a universal health care system would bridge the healthcare disparities between the rich and the majority poor.

The 1987 Constitution provides that all Filipinos should have access to health services. This policy finds full expression in Article II, Section 15: “The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.” Article XIII, Section 11 provides that “The State should adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable costs. There shall be priority for the needs of the underprivileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women and children. The State shall endeavor to provide free medical care to paupers.”

And yet, from one administration to another, the same issues and deficiencies continue to plague the country’s health sector. Key healthcare issues crippling the nation like the healthcare inequities, failed public healthcare financing, the continuous exodus of health professionals and weak health regulations pose critical challenges for the Aquino administration in attaining Universal Health Coverage.

Badly broken

Calling our country’s health care system “badly broken” and in need of repair, President Benigno S. Aquino III outlined his plans for a reform package based on universal health coverage for all Filipinos. This plan would put the national government at center stage for funding healthcare services by amending Republic Act No. 7875 (otherwise known as the National Health Insurance Act of 1995) or enacting a new law by developing more extensive and equitable tax-based systems, or social health insurance-based systems or mixes of those. To ensure universal health coverage it will be necessary to increase the extent of prepayment and reduce the reliance on out-of-pocket payments and user fees.

This reform agenda for universal coverage is anchored on the provision of comprehensive but accessible and affordable healthcare services to all Filipinos. It focuses on expansion of coverage of the national health insurance system to include all Filipinos within the next three years and provision of effective and affordable health care services that shall be accessible to all Filipinos in private and public hospitals.

While every Filipino is entitled to healthcare as provided by the Constitution, here in the Philippines, healthcare happens to be a privilege. The majority of the Filipinos rely on the private sector for their healthcare needs, thus making these services more of a commodity rather than entitlements. The majority cannot afford such services, resulting in grim statistics: for example, an estimated 60 percent of Filipinos die without seeing a health professional. Putting a stop to these healthcare inequities would require immense political commitment from the present administration.

Universal Healthcare

Universal coverage of healthcare means that everyone in the population has access to appropriate promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative healthcare when they need it and at an affordable cost.1 Universal coverage thus implies equity of access and financial risk protection. It is also based on the notion of equity in financing, i.e., that people contribute on the basis of their ability to pay rather than according to whether they fall ill. This implies that a major source of health funding needs to come from prepaid and pooled contributions rather than from fees or charges levied once a person falls ill and accesses health services.2 According to the World Health Organization (WHO), universal coverage requires choices to be made in each of the three components of a health financing system:
• revenue collection: financial contributions to the health system have to be collected equitably and efficiently;

• pooling: contributions are pooled so that the costs of healthcare are shared by all and not borne by individuals at the time they fall ill (this requires a certain level of solidarity in society); and

• purchasing: the contributions are used to buy or provide appropriate and effective health interventions.
WHO further said that countries that have achieved universal coverage have developed prepayment systems that are commonly described as tax-based or social health insurance-based (SHI). In a tax-based system, general tax revenue is the main source of financing, and the available funds are used by the government to provide or purchase health services. In an SHI system, contributions come from workers, the self-employed, enterprises and government. In both, the contributions made by all contributors are pooled and services are provided only to those who need them. The financial risks associated with ill health in the population as a whole are shared by all contributors, and the pooled funds therefore perform an insurance function.

In tax-based systems, however, the insurance is implicit (in general, people do not know how much of their taxes fund health services), whereas in SHI it is explicit (in general, people know what they are paying for health). In both systems, the funds are usually used to purchase or provide services from a mix of public and private providers.
Health for all Filipinos

The country’s deteriorating healthcare situation is urgent not just for the poor themselves but for all Filipinos whose general welfare depends on the good health of all. Radical changes in various arenas of the healthcare sector are imperative in order to reverse these rends.

To make health services available, accessible and affordable, the reform agenda seeks to resuscitate the largely sluggish health sector and promote efficiency, economy of scale and effectiveness in service delivery. One of these measures is the institutionalization of reforms in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

In 1995, the National Health Insurance Law, which established PhilHealth, called for health insurance for all Filipinos by 2010. However it is disturbing to know that since PhilHealth was created fifteen years ago, out-of-pocket payments have shot up from 40 to 54 percent of health financing in 2007. Ironically, even the country’s national insurance program ends up devoting much of its resources reimbursing healthcare facilities and providers in the more developed and urbanized areas, while its coverage remains very low among rural and poorest areas. PhilHealth coverage according to the 2008 NDHS is lowest in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Based on the 2006 Family Income and Expenditures Survey (FIES), about 70 percent of the population could not afford to pay for health care services due to their low income and the high cost of medical care. These are the same Filipinos that suffer from worse health outcomes because they are not able to access healthcare when they need it and where they need it. They are more likely to die without the benefit of seeing the inside of a hospital or receiving care from a medical professional. This is not surprising, given that the Philippines has a “highly resourced private sector”, where seven out of ten health practitioners are working in the private sector and servicing only 20-30 percent of the population (the same population that can afford healthcare services).

The disparity in access to and use of health care services, resources and outcomes resulted in a wide gap in the health status between the rich and poor Filipino families. This situation threatens to get even worse because of the failed public healthcare financing. Based on the national budget allocation, a Filipino taxpayer spends only about P1.10 a day for health care compared to P21.75 spent by the government on debt servicing. With the increasing cost of healthcare services, even among those with a regular income, surviving a major ailment or illness is nothing short of a miracle.

As we race to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, the health sector should be prioritized by the State today. However, the government’s response remains anemic: total health expenditure only accounted for 3.8 percent of the country’s GDP (2006), well below the 5 percent standard set by the WHO for developing countries like the Philippines.

Due to increasing cost of healthcare services and the lack of appropriate social protection, illness becomes a catastrophic experience, especially for the poor Filipino families. Out-of-pocket payments for health care services are increasing in the Philippines. Of the total health spending, according to the 2007 Philippine National Health Accounts (PNHA), only 9 percent was shouldered by social health insurance, both the national government and local government shared 13 percent, other sources at 11 percent, and 54 percent came from out-of-pocket payments made by the patients. This trend spells doom for individuals and families from the lowest income groups who have no pockets to begin with.

Based on the 2008 NDHS, only 42 percent of Filipinos are covered by some form of health insurance. Although it is the dominant insurance provider, PhilHealth coverage at the national level remains low at 38 percent of the population. Coverage through the Social Security System (SSS) is 11 percent, while the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) covered about 2 percent of the population. Moreover, 2 percent of Filipinos are covered by private insurance or membership in health maintenance organizations (HMOs).

It will be impossible to achieve Universal Health Coverage without greater and more effective investment in health systems and services. Beyond these, central to attaining Universal Health Coverage are reforms to be instituted in PhilHealth.

The government must admit that PhilHealth has fallen short of its target, as health insurance barely protects 38 percent of all Filipinos (2008 NDHS). It is clear that the Social Health Insurance scheme as currently implemented by PhilHealth is not working towards the envisioned “sustainable, affordable and progressive social health insurance, which endeavors to influence the delivery of accessible quality health care for all Filipinos.”

How can reforms in the PhilHealth be done? Certainly it will begin with making sure that over 11 million Filipino families who are the poorest of the poor will be supported and covered by an allocation of P15 billion to cover their PhilHealth premium.

Such reforms must go beyond the distribution of PhilHealth cards. The overarching philosophy is that access to health care services is based on needs and not on the capability to pay. Universal Health Care should mean that every Filipino will get not merely the card, but more importantly, the affordable and appropriate quality healthcare services that are their right. Thus in the medium-term, the development of an initial package of basic health services to be made available to every Filipino given the present resources available to the health system should be implemented.

1. See the background document “Social health insurance—Sustainable health financing, universal coverage and social health insurance” to the Resolution of the Executive Board at its 115th Session (Resolution EB115.R13), http://www.who.int/health_financing

2. Technical Brief for Policy-Makers 2 on Designing Health Financing Systems to Reduce Catastrophic Health Expenditure

Visit: http://magph.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=92:achieving-universal-health-coverage