Bishop to gov’t: Don’t be a burden for OFWs

Bishop to gov’t: Don’t be a burden for OFWs

By CBCP News

May 4, 2020

Manila, Philippines

Many overseas Filipino workers deserve assistance and help and not additional “burden”, a Church official said.

Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga said that requiring OFWs to pay premiums to state insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) is “lacking of compassion and only gives anxiety to them”.

“It is now the time to be considerate and be more caring to our OFWs,” said Santos, vice chairman of the bishops’ Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People.

After drawing flack, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday suspended the collection of higher premiums for OFWs.

He also directed the PhilHealth to make the premium contribution of OFWs on a “voluntary” basis.

PhilHealth has earlier required OFWs with income amounting between P10,000 and P20,000 to pay 3 percent of their annual salaries this year— a raise from 2.75 percent in 2019.

According to the prelate, many Filipino workers abroad are much affected by the Covid-19 pandemic because of the “no work, no pay” policy.

“And so with 3 percent mandatory contribution is to make them suffer more,” Santos added.

“Our OFWs have sacrificed so much for our country, made our economy afloat. Now they need our assistance and help, but we make them to suffer more with this 3 percent,” he said.