British Pinoy at heart Conlan sends open letter to the Senate: 3% mandatory PhilHealth contribution is unfair

Image via Philippine Health Insurance Corporation | Facebook | Image via Malcolm Conlan | Facebook
  • The PhilHealth mandatory contribution of 3% from the salary of OFWs has received countless criticisms
  • British Pinoy at heart Malcolm Conlan said on Facebook that being a worker abroad has its own sets of burden financially especially during this time of COVID
  • He agrees that OFWs may afford to pay more but making the payment mandatory is unfair

On April 22, PhilHealth Circular No. 2020-0014 entitled ” Premium Contribution and Collection of Payment of Overseas Filipino Member was released to the public. It requires a mandatory PhilHealth contribution of 3% of the salary of OFWs.

Since then, many workers abroad have lamented over this decision; saying that  requiring them to pay such amount while not directly benefiting from it since they are outside the country is unfair.

The known British Pinoy at heart Malcolm Conlan, who’s married to a Filipina for more than two decades, is one with the Filipino OFWs in this sentiment.  He expressed his thoughts through his Facebook account via an open letter addressed to the Senate of the Philippines.

Conlan said, “As much as I believe in the view that ‘we are all in this together’ particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the greatest respect, I do not support this move that had been orchestrated by certain Senators of the Philippines.”

He calls for an amendment and a fairer contribution system on this requirement since at this time of the pandemic, OFWs too are affected.

He added, “I have been getting many messages from concerned Filipinos who tell me that they are already struggling abroad to pay rent, bills, food, any local health insurance charges but can’t afford to pay this premium in addition. It’s not that they don’t want to contribute to the healthcare of the nation, they fundamentally do, BUT working abroad doesn’t suddenly make you rich.”

Image via Philippine Health Insurance Corporation | Facebook

He emphasized that there seems to be a false impression of workers abroad since they earn more. But the truth is, some of them struggle to feed themselves especially now that some sectors have shut down with the pandemic.

“Yes, I do believe that OFW’s abroad could possibly afford to and should pay a little more, maybe as a top-up to increase the benefits that they would be entitled to when they finally go home,” he said. However, he finds the mandatory payment unfair.

Doing such will significantly affect OFW remittances where most families depend on.

Aside from his call, a petition on Change.org has been circulating online hoping this decision would be reversed. It has now earned nearly 400,000 signatures.

Visit Conlan’s original post here.

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