Harry Roque washes hands over PhilHealth OFW payment hike

    Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque accused PhilHealth of passing the blame on him over the controversial hike in the contribution of premium payment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

    “Yung mga taga-PhilHealth, imbes na sagutin ang issue ay ibinaling ang sisi sa akin dahil ako nga ang author ng batas,” Roque told Unang Balita in an interview.

    Roque, a former party-list representative, authored the Universal Healthcare Act but said it was not part of the bill to increase the PhilHealth premium of OFWs.

    “Wala sa batas ‘yan (increase), nasa IRR (implementing rules and regulations) ‘yan at ang namuno sa IRR ay ang PhilHealth,” he said, showing a screenshot of an alleged conversation by PhilHealth officials pinning the blame on him.

    An online petition on Change.org is going around and gaining support from authorities and groups to repeal the measure.

    In an interview, Roque said what should be addressed by the new PhilHealth leadership is the supposed irregularities within the agency, noting the time when President Rodrigo Duterte fired the entire PhilHealth board for alleged corruption.

    “Pero ‘yung tunay na sindikato, ‘yung matataas na opisyal diyan sa PhilHealth, nandiyan pa rin,” said Roque, who as a lawyer had represented whistleblowers who bared the alleged corruption in the agency.

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