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OFWs Decry Added Burden as PhilHealth Increases Premiums to 3% of Monthly Salary

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) decry the added financial burden they are experiencing as PhilHealth pushes through with its plan to increase premiums starting this year, charging 3% of their monthly salary!

PhilHealth Increases OFW Contributions

According to PhilHealth Circular No. 2020-0014 entitled “Premium Contribution and Collection of Payment of Overseas Filipino Member”, OFWs whose monthly income ranges from Php10,000 to Php60,000 need to pay 3.0%. That is an increase from 2.75% in 2019.

While 3% might not appear to be big on paper, it actually is an added burden to OFWs because the actual amount is actually big!

Philhealth increase premiums
Photo credit: ABS-CBN News

For example, Filipino domestic workers who usually earn around Php20,000 ($400) per month must pay Php600 ($12) per month or a total of Php7,200 ($145) per year as PhilHealth coverage. Considering the many contributions that OFWs have to pay before going abroad, this amount is already a huge burden to pay.

But that’s just for those earning Php20,000!

Overseas Filipinos who earn more than Php60,000 must pay Php21,000 ($420) for annual PhilHealth premiums.

What’s worse, this is just the beginning. If you already feel that 3% is a big burden, wait until you realize that the premiums are going to gradually increases each year from 2019 to 2025. It started with 2.5% in 2019, growing to 3% in 2020 but will be 3.5% in 2021, 4% in 2022, 4.5% in 2023, 5% in 2024 and 2025!

Philhealth increase premiums
Photo credit: PhilStar

From the same examples above, the domestic helper earning Php20,000 a month will be paying Php1,000 per month or Php12,000 per year! Likewise, the OFW earning more than Php60,000 will have to pay Php3,000 a month or Php36,000 per year!

Obviously, those who earn more need to pay more. The income ceiling will be set at Php100,000 by 2024. By then, anyone earning Php100,000 above will pay Php5,000 a month or a whopping Php60,000 a year!

Photo credit: Philippine Health Insurance Corporation / Facebook

OFWs Seeking for Repeal

OFWs launched a petition to seek repeal of this circular. On Change.org, nearly 300,000 have signed the on-going online petition entitled, “Remove Philhealth Mandatory 3% Premium Payment from OFW’s salary.

“I believe that we OFWs and our dependents have been already struggling amidst this Pandemic and yet Philhealth had issued a very unfair memo regarding premium payments.

I believe that this is already too much of them to ask for an interest rate and a penalty which is very unfair and inhumane for those who travel away from their families to work. It is very unfortunate that they call OFWs modern heroes and yet they penalize us with such directives.

We urge the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) to reverse this directive as this is unfair and an abuse to our migrant workers.”

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80-Year-Old Grandpa Jailed for Taking Mangoes, Help Pours In

Help pours in for an 80-year-old grandpa jailed for taking mangoes from a tree he planted a long time ago. Several celebrities, vloggers, and even controversial personality Xian Gaza came forward to offer him some help – and everyone else want to know the identity of the heartless person who sent this old to jail!

Grandpa Jailed for Taking Mangoes

Would you send someone to jail for getting some fruits from your house? Well, that depends on the situation, but netizens and celebrities are now up in arms against the person who sent an old man to jail over some mangoes he got from the yard!

Pinapitas ko ‘yung isang puno ng manga wala pang sampung kilo, ang alam ko sakop namin. Noong binakuran nila, sinakop naman na nila pero tanim ko naman yun…” says Lolo Narding Floro, the 80-year-old grandpa jailed for taking mangoes from a tree he planted a long time ago.

grandpa jailed for taking mangoes
Photo credit: Russel Simorio GMA

He was nabbed based on a warrant of arrest last January 13 in Barangay Bantog in Asingan, Pangasinan.

Ang gusto ko sana makipagsundo, maliit lang naman kasi na bagay, noong ibibigay ko yung bayad ayaw nilang tanggapin, ang sabi nila bayaran ko ng anim na libo…” the grandpa explained.

He explained that he had planted that tree and he thought they owned the place, but someone insisted they owned the place and put a fence around the property. But he thinks they still own it.

Photo credit: Russel Simorio GMA

But the new owners refused to accept his explanation and wanted to charge him Php6,000 for the mangoes he got. When he couldn’t pay them, they sent him to jail.

The court later set a bail of Php6,000 for Lolo Narding’s release, but because he didn’t have money, the policemen at Asingan Police Station contributed their own money to pay for it.

However, since the area is in Alert Level 3, his release papers haven’t been signed yet.

Photo credit: Russel Simorio GMA

But angry netizens and celebrities vow to help this grandpa seek justice for getting jailed over some mangoes!

Doon sa taong nagsampa ng kaso kay Lolo Narding nang dahil lamang sa iilang mangga na kanyang pinitas, hahanapin kita. Kumapit ka na. Ipapakilala kita sa buong Pilipinas,” vows Xian Gaza.

Penalty for Theft in the Philippines

The maximum fine for light penalties under the Revised Penal Code, is up to Php40,000 with imprisonment of “a minimum of one (1) day to a maximum of six (6) months.”

Fines that exceed Php6,000 are considered “afflictive penalties.” They carry an imprisonment of a minimum of 12 years and 1 day up to a maximum of 20 years (for amounts greater than Php1.2 million).

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Seller Surprised That Customer Asked If P10K Inside P1,500 Money Cake Is Free

A seller couldn’t help but be surprised over a conversation she had with a customer. Seller Bea Manuel Sigua shared that the customer thought the cash inside a money cake was free.

Everybody loves a good money cake. From the young ones to the elderly, anyone would always have a huge smile when they start pulling the surprise cash inside. However, one customer had the odd idea that the cash inside was actually for free from the cake seller.

money cake
Image by Bea Manuel Sigua via Facebook

P1,500 money cake with free P10,000 cash?

In a Facebook post of Bea, she shared a conversation she had with a customer who was disappointed that the money cake doesn’t have free cash inside. In the chat, the customer began by asking how much the cost of a cake was. Bea replied that it was around P1,500 to P2,000. The customer seems fine with the price and specifically instructed that it should contain P10,000.

“Sa February 2 po sana. P10k po ilalagay puro P100 na bills po,” the customer stated.

When Bea explained that the customer will have to provide the cash, she was surprised with the reply. The customer answered, “Hindi pa po yun kasama sa P1,500?”

When the cake seller explained that she won’t give away free money for P1,500 worth of cake, the customer decided to cancel the order. “Pass po, next time na lang po,” the customer wrote.

money cake
Image by Bea Manuel Sigua via Facebook

Netizens react over hilarious conversation

The post has gone viral as many netizens were also struck with the unexpected request. It now has over 21,000 reactions as of posting and with many comments at how weird the customer’s request was. The odd request became a hilarious topic of conversation among netizens.  Many couldn’t believe at how the customer came up with the idea at all. Several cake sellers also chimed in sharing what they would do if they also receive such request.

One netizen commented, “Natawa ko sa akala niya libre 10k na bill sa loob ng cake. Lasing kaya nung ngchachat siya sayo.”

Bea said in jest that if only all money cakes had free cash inside, she would stop making them and just order one instead.

She remarked, “Hindi po ako nag aabono sa money cake. Hindi po ako mayaman. Kung bawat money cake 1500 lang halaga tapos may laman na 10k e di na po ako magbebake oorder nalang ako ng money cake sa ibang baker.”

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Student From Ilocos Sur Wins House and Lot in COVID-19 Vaccine Raffle

A student from Santa, Ilocos Sur couldn’t believe his luck when he won a house and lot in a Covid-19 vaccine raffle.

They always say that winning the lottery is like reaching for the stars. That’s why when Romulo Corpuz received a call that he won a house and lot, he had to jump for joy. Romulo is one lucky “bakunado” when he bagged the grand prize in a Covid-19 vaccine raffle in his hometown.

romulo house and lot
Image by Mike Corpuz Jr via Facebook

Romulo shouts for joy

The 22-year-old recalled that he was at the grocery store when he received the call. He shared on sa GMA Regional TV Balitang Amianan, “Nagsigaw-sigaw po ako kasi blessing na iyon.”

“’Tapos tumawag yung security. ‘Tapos tinanong niya kung ano yung sinisigaw ko. ‘Tapos sinabi ko na nanalo ako ng house and lot,”, he gleefully remembered.

Romulo’s mother, Mildred Corpuz, couldn’t help but be emotional with such a big blessing. What was supposed to be a normal vaccination day became a life changing event for them. She said winning the house and lot was the best Christmas gift they received.

“Blessing na blessing sa Christmas na ito, kasi yung anak ko nanalo sa house and lot. Ay, talagang excited na excited na…” Mildred shared.

romulo house and lot
Image by Mike Corpuz Jr via Facebook

Local government rewards vaccinated individuals

Many local government units have launched initiatives to encourage people to get vaccinated. In an effort to raise their vaccination rates, raffles, games and other rewards are given during “bakuna day”.

According to Mayor Jesus Bueno Jr, the local government was able to acquire a lot where the house was built. He said, “May namana kaming lupa dun sa site. Portion of that pinatayuan namin ng bahay.”

This January, Romulo and his family are now ready to move into their brand new house. Mayor Bueno also assured that the deed of donation will be given to them at the same time.

The local chief also encouraged Romulo to take active participation in youth-oriented programs of their barangay. “Sana pag nakuha niya yun, mas lalo pa siyang sisipag na maging katulong sa isang barangay, lalo na sa youth sector,” Mayor Bueno said.

In a game where the chances of winning is one in a million, Romulo sure did get his lucky stars aligned on his vaccination day!

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