Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) recently signed a Collection and Remittance Agreement (CRA) with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for the collection of premium contributions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and migrant workers.
The LBP, which has been a partner of PhilHealth for the past 14 years, will be collecting premium contributions abroad through its accredited remittance companies (RemCos) based in Europe, USA, Australia, Canada, Middle East, and throughout Asia.
The RemCos started collecting premium contributions last March 15, 2012 from OFWs and migrant workers based in HongKong, Macau, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) through its foreign tie-ups namely, Pacific Ace Forex H.K., Macau Pacific Ace Remittance, Ltd., and Al Rajhi Bank in KSA.
When paying their PhilHealth premium, OFWs need only to present their PhilHealth ID card or Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) as proof of identity to the RemCos' authorized representative. They may use their host-country’s currency as payment for one or two years’ premium contributions, depending on the number of years specified in their OEC.
PhilHealth President and CEO Dr. Eduardo P. Banzon said that this partnership is a big favor, not just for PhilHealth, but particularly for OFW members as well. He further said that "we are really trying to expand, among other things, our benefits, which will redound to the welfare of our members. We believe that we should be much more aggressive in ensuring that our OFW members continue to be eligible."
He added that "we have been challenged, mandated by the President and Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona to prime universal health care. It’s a daunting task, difficult task. We believe it's doable. But with partners like Land Bank, the more it becomes doable for us."
On the other hand, Landbank President and CEO Gilda Pico said that "we are very pleased with this arrangement with PhilHealth. We hope that this will pave the way for a more convenient collection and remittance system for PhilHealth contributions for our overseas Filipinos. We have always looked at the OFWs as our valuable partners in economic development."
She added that “we assure you that Landbank will support your objective of promoting better health and improve the quality of life of Filipinos.”
Also present during the signing ceremony were PhilHealth Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Atty. Alexander A. Padilla, Senior Manager for Treasury Department Dr. Evangeline F. Racelis, Landbank Executive Vice President, Head, Institutional Banking and Subsidiaries Sector Cecilia C. Borromeo and First Vice President, Head, OFW Remittance Group Roberto S. Vergara.
The LBP is among PhilHealth's growing list of accredited partners for overseas premium collection that includes iRemit, Development Bank of the Philippines, Philippine Veterans Bank, and Ventaja International.
OFWs and migrant workers who want to sign up with PhilHealth need only to scan their accomplished PhilHealth Member Registration Form (PMRF) and send it to PhilHealth Special Programs Department on any day of the week via electronic mail with the following addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (END) (by Pedro D. Abella)