AKO BICOL PARTY-LIST
REP. ALFREDO A. GARBIN, JR.
09177292437 | Twitter @AlfredoGarbin
AKO BICOL solon suggests alternatives that are simple, doable, and minimally taxing ways on the hard-earned income of OFWs
REP GARBIN ASKS PHILHEALTH TO RESCIND OFW CONTRIBUTIONS POLICY
I propose two alternative ways to finance the inclusion of OFWs in universal health coverage but not in the form and method PhilHealth has now. For now, I ask the PhilHealth to rescind or take back its current directive on PhilHealth contributions of OFWs.
Instead, I propose a two-step method. First step is a one-time pre-departure PhilHealth membership fee of just P1,000.00 to be advanced by the licensed recruitment agency or ship manning agency or 50 percent subsidized by the OWWA. The second step is a simple P20 (bente pesos only) fee deducted from every remittance or money transfer of any amount.
The membership fee and the P20 money transfer charge are credited to the PhilHealth account of the OFW member. Before documented OFWs leave the country, their Filipino recruitment or manning agency must register them into PhilHealth.
These methods I propose are simple, doable, and minimally taxing ways on the hard-earned income of OFWs.
Nearly all OFWs would rather work abroad than suffer the indignity and financial burden of being lowly-paid laborer here in the Philippines because of our unjust labor laws. In their minds, they do not owe the government anything and refuse to be taxed, but they do expect, on account of their citizenship, that the government be there for repatriation, legal assistance, and OWWA aid.
Strictly speaking, OFWs could be taxed and could be paying members of PhilHealth, SSS, and PAG-IBIG. However, it is understandable that they will reject premium contributions because those deductions do not go instantly to their families.
So for now, the two alternative ways I elaborated on earlier will do. (END)