Gov't suspends implementing expanded compulsory insurance coverage for land-based ''rehires, ''direct hires''
The government suspends the implementation of the expanded compulsory insurance coverage for land-based “rehires” and “direct hires” overseas Filipino workers.
During the ''Laging Handa'' public briefing Tuesday, Undersecretary Bernard Olalia of the Department of Migrant Worker ((DMW) said the expanded compulsory insurance for returning OFWs and direct hires was the subject of the Department Order 228 released by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in October 2021.
"We will have a widespread consultation with the OFWs and the stakeholders because we heard that there are 'rehires'and 'direct hires' OFWs that are complaining and there are OFWs who failed to continue to work abroad because they have to pay for the compulsory insurance," he said.
Olalia said the compulsory insurance ranges from $35 to $37, which he adds is ''quite expensive.''
" That is why we need to think and talk with the insurance providers on how we could improve and lower the price of what we called as insurance premium," he added.
According to the Department of Migrant Workers, the "Department Order requires employers or the workers themselves to pay for the insurance coverage subject to full refund on the first day of arrival at the worksite or country of destination."
Olalia said complaints include the reimbursement for expanded compulsory insurance, especially if it was initially paid by the OFWs.
"It is difficult to reimburse, especially if the payment was made by the OFWs," he said.
The Department of Migrant Workers said in ordering the suspension, the POEA cited the improving global health situation and high vaccination rates among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in an advisory dated August 5.
Olalia said that the department order was a “protective insurance mechanism against OFWs contracting COVID-19.”
In a press release issued on Monday, Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople said the benefits of such an insurance scheme for rehired and directly hired overseas workers at the height of the COVID-19 epidemic have to be established.
“The order to suspend will be followed by a series of formal consultations with all stakeholders most especially our OFWs in different parts of the world via online meetings since they were meant to be the primary beneficiaries of DO No. 228,” she said. Robina Asido/DMS