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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

FMWG - Opposition to Increased Philhealth Premium Payment

December 21, 2011
Dr. Eduardo P. Banzon
President and Chief Executive Officer
Philippine Health Insurance Corporation

Subject:           Opposition to Increased Philhealth Premium Payment


The Filipino Migrant Workers Group vehemently opposes the issuance of Philhealth Circular No. 022, s, 2011 which increased among others, the individual premium contribution of Overseas Filipino Workers from Nine Hundred Pesos (900) to Two Thousand Four Hundred Pesos (2,400) per year effective July 1, 2012.

The increase was not only arbitrary, but the circular itself is in clear violation of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. 10022 otherwise known as the Amended Migrant Workers Act.

For millions of OFWs who are holding low-paying jobs and hardly benefiting from Philhealth, and particularly those who are already covered by more superior health insurance provided by their overseas employers, the present compulsory premium of Nine Hundred Pesos is already a burden. But to even increase it by more than 150% (without proper consultation) is downright callous and a clear manifestation of insensitivity to the feelings of the Migrant Sector.

Philhealth must also reckon with Rule XVII of IRR on R.A. 10022 which provides, under Section 4 on Government Fees, Administration Costs and Taxes, the following:

“All fees for services being charged by any government agency on migrant workers prevailing at the time of the effectivity of this Rule shall not be increased.”

Jun S. Aguilar                                                
Filipino Migrant Workers Group 

©2011 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

PEBA 2011 Flashmob sa Trinoma

NGOs, OFW bloggers oppose Philhealth circular raising premiums of OFW members

News Release
Blas F. Ople Policy Center
December 20, 2011

NGOs, OFW bloggers oppose Philhealth circular raising premiums of OFW members

Several non-government organizations involved in overseas employment issues banded together to oppose Philhealth Circular No. 022 that would nearly triple the amount of premiums to be paid by overseas Filipino workers by next year.

Philhealth convened a consultative meeting with a handful of non-profit organizations representing overseas Filipino workers this morning. Walter Bacareza, vice-president of its Member Management Group presented the agency's plans to increase membership rates including that of OFWs as well as the Board's intention to "revolutionize" healthcare services in the country. Philhealth vice-president for corporate affairs Gregorio Rulloda was also present in the meeting.

Former labor undersecretary Susan Ople of the Blas F. Ople Center, Luther Calderon, president of the Kabalikat ng Migranteng Pilipino, Inc., Apostol Gratela, chairman of the Kalahi-Advocate for Overseas Filipinos and Jun Aguilar of the Filipino Migrant Workers' Group objected to the planned increases citing the lack of consultations with the labor and overseas workers' sectors. With two weeks to go before the new rates are imposed, the health agency issued the invitations for today's consultative meeting to a handful of OFW sector representatives only yesterday. The circular itself was issued on December 15.

"On January 2, unless the Philhealth Board withdraws its circular, all overseas workers would be paying 300 pesos more for their Philhealth premium and for those unable to pay that amount within the first six months of 2012, they would have to pay 2,400 pesos as annual premium from July onwards, a huge amount compared to the current 900 pesos being shelled out by every OFW. These new rates are being imposed without consultations, without clear explanations, and without consideration given the heavy financial burdens already being experienced by our migrant workers' given the series of calamities and continued slowdown in the world economy," the leaders of the said NGOs said.

During the consultative meeting, Philhealth officials explained that the higher premiums would allow the agency to meet its performance targets as well as attain the country's Millennium Development Goals and aspiration for universal health care coverage. Vice-President Bacareza also cited the GOCC Governance Act of 2011 that includes a performance evaluation of all GOCCs.

"It is unfortunate that the Philhealth Board of Directors decided to issue and release this new circular while the nation is grieving over the deaths of so many of our compatriots in Iligan, Cagayan de Oro and other parts of the Visayans and Mindanao regions. We question the timing, the lack of consultations, and the inexplicable haste by which this new circular is now being imposed not only on our OFWs but on all workers covered by Philhealth," Susan Ople said.

Jun Aguilar of the Filipino Migrant Workers' Group who was a former OFW in Saudi Arabia said that most OFWs are not even aware of the benefits due them as Philhealth members. "My son is an OFW and he relies on the more efficient health care system in Saudi Arabia rather than Philhealth because that is where he is situated. Why should he now pay triple the cost of premium to enable Philhealth to meet its own internal targets?"

Aguilar also cited a provision in the Amendments to the Migrant Workers' Act otherwise known as Republic Act No. 10022 that prohibits any increases in government fees for services rendered to OFWs.

Another OFW advocate, Luther Custodio, objected to the planned increase and called for a more intensified information campaign from Philhealth about its "revolutionary" changes to the current national health program.

Moves to oppose the Philhealth premium increases are set to snowball with the participation of OFW bloggers that founded the annual Philippine Expat/OFW Bloggers Award (PEBA). PEBA founder Jebee Solis who is based in Saudi Arabia said his group will blog against the new Philhealth circular citing the fact that most foreign companies obtain health insurance for foreign workers.

Philhealth officials who were present during the consultative meeting with the NGOs promised to report to the Board the concerns of the OFW sector on the impact of the abrupt increase in Philhealth premiums on the expenses of every departing worker, and on those wanting to renew their memberships.

"We are appealing to the Philhealth leadership to be more considerate given these extraordinarily difficult times. Every OFW with relatives in calamity-stricken areas will be relied upon to help defray the rebuilding of homes, and the sustenance of their surviving kin. We seek a deferment of Philhealth Circular No. 022 pending more extensive consultations and so that all of us can focus our efforts and attention in helping out those devastated by the floods in Mindanao," the civil society leaders said.

©2011 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards

Friday, December 9, 2011

Photos of the PEBA 2011

The 2011 Winners of the 4th Blog and Photo Awards


TOP 1 
Ako'y Magbabalik, Hatid Ko ay Pagbabago 
blissfully RICH, Abu Dhabi, UAE 
 Richard M. Macarubbo 

TOP 2 
The Boomerangs and the Three Hunters 
JP Quidores' Window, 
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei 
 Jyppe A. Quidores

UUWI NA SI TATANG Pinoy Samut-Sari,
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 
 Ponciano U. Santos Detektibgapo

               TOP 4 
Alohagems Online, 
Lihue, Hawaii Alohagems Online, Lihue, Hawaii 
 Shirley P Mandel   

 TOP 5
I'll Go Home and Shall Bring Change (A Dare for OFWs) OFW Chronicles, 
Pinoy Abroad, Doha, Qatar 
 Ronald S. Mallari   

 TOP 6 
Michael's Shades of Blue, Riyadh, KSA Michael's Shades of Blue, 
Riyadh, KSA 
 Michael C 

Juha   TOP 7 
THREE The Gasoline Dude, Singapore, Singapore Alex T. Molina   

 TOP 8 
My Yellow Bells, Dubai, UAE My Yellow Bells, Dubai, UAE Carla Roque   

 TOP 9 
Doha, Qatar Alex P. Flores   

 TOP 10 Sa Muling Pagbukas ng Tala_larawan Kuya Poklong, OFW Ako, 
Kuwait City, Kuwait 
 Rodel M. Jaboli         

         PEBA PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD, OFW BLOGGER DIVISION 1 Michael's Shades of Blue Michael C Juha


               TOP 1 
  isa PONG malaking karangalan kahit man lang sa maliit na paraan… 
   Oh My Doodles!, 
 Aldous N. Sayno 

 TOP 2
I HAVE RETURNED… with new knowledge and expertise and with a renewed commitment 

My World is Getting Smaller,
 Quezon City 
 Reynaldo P. Ramos 

 TOP 3 
  Tuyong Tinta ng Bolpen, 
Padre Garcia, Batangas 
Joel D Laig

TOP 4 
   aspectos de hitokiriHOSHI, 
Quezon City MM 
Mary Jane C. Gonzales

 TOP 5
Blessed Zyra
San Pedro, Laguna 
 Zyra Mae O. Bambico 

TOP 6 
  Kol Mi Empi, 
Quezon City, MM  
 Mark Paulines

TOP 7 
  Balikbayan Box Kwentong Makulit... 
Tanauan City Batangas 
 Mark Alvin L. Sunpayco

TOP 8 
  Jay Rulez, 
Cabuyao, Laguna
Rayan Jey P. De Lemos

TOP 9 
  Ang Alingawngaw ng Taribong, 
Makati Phils
 Gerald B. Soriano

TOP 10 
  Hiram na Kaligayahan , Las Pinas City 
 Joselito Velunta Rosales


         TOP 1
I Own a Nokia and I Own a Destiny, Philippines 
 MEL (My Everyday Life) 

 TOP 2 
Nokia Family, Makati, Philippines 
 Pinaywriter's Oral Diarrhea 2.0 

 TOP 3 
 Abu Dhabi, UAE
blissfully RICH 


Diary ni Gracia 
Gracia Amor

Kwentong Makulit, Parang Ulay Sa Puwet  
Mark Alvin L. Sunpayco 

A Little Bit of Something  
 Timothy C. Ramos Tim Ramos 

Window Lad 
 Kelvin S. Mangundayao

Pinoy Food Recipes: Lutong Pinoy na Pinoy 
Louie Miranda


Maria Florenda N. Corpuz    
The Hotdog Stand
Eric F. Dimzon 

Tech At Hand Dot Net
Dexter C. Panganiban 

Lakwatsera de Primera
  Claire Cardona Raborar 

Sherwin A. Calalang

OFW Chronicles, Pinoy Abroad, Doha, Qatar 
 Ronald S. Mallari  


Jocelyn Torres Gundan 
Al Ain City Daily Photo 
 Abu Dhabi, UAE

'The accolade for her dedication and enthusiasm as an OFW, a Nurse by profession, an active blogger and an amateur photographer whose photographs has made its way to  "Sehaya" (Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority's stakeholder magazine), has been featured in "Oasis Living Magazine", a leading social blogging advocate for "Isang Minutong Smile" and "Pens of Hope".

Michael's Shades of Blue, Saudi Arabia
Michael C Juha

Maria Florenda N. Corpuz  


  Alohagems Online, Lihue, Hawaii 

  The Boomerangs and the Three Hunters 
 JP Quidores' Window, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei 

  Ako'y Magbabalik, Hatid Ko ay Pagbabago 
  blissfully RICH, 
Abu Dhabi, UAE


I HAVE RETURNED… with new knowledge and expertise and with a renewed commitment 
My World is Getting Smaller, 
Quezon City 

isa PONG malaking karangalan kahit man lang sa maliit na paraan… 
Oh My Doodles!, 

©2011 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

4th International Blog and Photo Awards - PEBA 2011

Kayo ay malugod na inaanyayahan sa ika-4 na gabi ng parangal at pagpupugay sa mga expats at OFW sa kanilang galing nila sa pagsusulat ng blog at pagkuha ng mga larawan.

Ang PEBA ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng mga lumahok. Hindi man po kayo matatawag upang tumanggap ng tropeo subalit ang gabi po ng parangal ay para sa lahat na sumali sa taong ito at gayundin po ang inyong pamilya. Sana po ay makapiling namin kayo sa gabing ito at sama-sama tayong magdiwang ng tunay na diwa ng Pasko at ng inyong kabukasan na ibahagi sa buong mundo ang inyong mga kwento, saloobin, hangarin at layunin sa buhay.

Ang layunin ng PEBA ay hindi lamang po magbigay parangal sa mga nanalo sa taong 2011 kundi gusto naming kilalanin na ang inyong mga akda sa blog ay kinakapulutan ng aral, inspirasyon kung hindi man kasiyahan/entertainment sa iba.

Maraming salamat din sa lahat ng mga dedicated volunteers ng PEBA na patuloy sa walang sawang suporta at tulong sa ibat-ibang panig ng mundo mula sa mga isla ng Palau hanggang sa Gitnang Silangan: UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, KSA, Israel, gayundin sa taga-USA, Pilipinas, at iba pang bahagi ng mundo.

Pasalamat din sa lahat ng partners tulad ng AYALA OVERSEAS FILIPINO VIPinoy Program, NOKIA Philippines, GLOBE TELECOM at iba pang sponsors:

Ayala Land International Sales (ALISI)
Hotel Elizabeth
Fersal Hotel (Booth)
LBS Recruitment Solutions (Booth)
Mega Manpower Corporations
Chingu Buko House
Arts of Cabinets
Bersikulo Designs

NGO Partners
Blas Ople Policy Center
Patnubay Riyadh

Media Partners
Geiser Maclang
DZXL -RMN Bantay OFW Program
DWIZ Global Pinoy

Magkita-kita po tayo bukas 5PM, Biyernes, Dec 9 sa Trinoma Activity Center, Quezon City.

Mabuhay ang mga Pinoy Expats at OFW!

Maligayang Pasko po sa ating lahat!

©2011 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards


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