MAKE PHILHEALTH PAYMENTS VOLUNTARY FOR ALL FILIPINOS

MAKE PHILHEALTH PAYMENTS VOLUNTARY FOR ALL FILIPINOS

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WILFREDO JR. M GARRIDO started this petition to Filipino People

On 04 May 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of the collection of Philhealth premiums from Overseas Filipino Workers authorized under the Universal Health Care Act (R.A. 11223). He also made payment of premiums "voluntary".

Such special treatment of OFWs as opposed to ordinary Filipinos is discriminatory and violates the principle of equal protection of the law.

Article III, Section 1, of the Constitution states: "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws."

In Eleazar vs. COMELEC (G.R. No. 189698, February 22, 2010) the Supreme Court elucidated:

"The equal protection of the law clause is against undue favor and individual or class privilege, as well as hostile discrimination or the oppression of inequality.

In Inchong v. Hernandez, 101 Phil 1155 (1957), the Court elaborated that the principle "requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced."

Ordinary Filipinos residing in the Philippines have the same status, rights, or privileges as citizens as OFWs; they face the same risks to life, health and well-being; they cannot therefore be treated differently from OFWs in the free choice of health care providers other than Philhealth.

Most important of all, the 5% maximum rate and the compounded interest on delinquent accounts are unconscionable and extortionate and impact ordinary Philhealth members just as hard as OFWs.

Wherefore, it is hereby pleaded by means of this petition:

1. That Philhealth suspend the collection of premiums from individual Filipinos who are not classified as OFWs under R.A. 11223.
2. That the payment of premiums, as well as membership in Philhealth, be made voluntary for all individual Filipino citizens, whether employed overseas or not.
3. That Congress immediately pass a law repealing and/or amending R.A. 11223 to this effect.

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