(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 23 April 2021) At 3:00 AM today, the center of the eye of Typhoon "BISING" {SURIGAE} was located based on all available data at 575 km East Northeast of Basco, Batanes (21.4°N, 127.4°E) with maximum sustained winds of 140 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 170 km/h. It is moving East Northeastward at 20 km/h. Caraga Region will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers due to Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Light to moderate wind from Northwest to Southwest will prevail with slight to moderate seas/0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Increase in PhilHealth member contributions postponed

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on January 4, 2021. SIMEON CELI/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has deferred the implementation of the increase in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) member contributions to ease the hardship of the people due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“There is a move to increase the contribution ng mga members,” President Duterte said in a public address on Monday. “At this time of our life, may I just suggest to the PhilHealth chairman, si Dante Gierran at saka ‘yung si --- lahat na --- isang tao lang kailangan kong sabihan diyan. Huwag muna ngayon.”

“No increase in contributions. I will look for the money to fill it up. Maghanap tayo ng pera. Anyway, that is the job of the government to make it easy for everybody at this time, I said, of our lives.”

PhilHealth’s premium rate for its members was supposed to increase to 3.5 percent of their monthly basic salary, from 3 percent last year.

A 0.5 yearly increase in members’ premium is mandated by the Universal Health Care Act starting this year until it reaches the 5-percent cap in 2025.

Meanwhile, President Duterte warned airport personnel to strictly implement government travel restrictions and protocols following reports of unauthorized travels.

“There are reports that some people are skipping, na nakakalusot sila with the help of airport personnel at sa mga barko. I say this now as I have said it before: Do not do it kasi mayayari talaga kayo,” he said in issuing the warming.

“You do it by allowing unauthorized travel when all of us are really worried of containing the contamination, na i-control in and out. Almost every country now are controlling the entry and the departure of their citizens. Hindi lang tayo mga Pilipino.”

The government is strictly carrying out mandatory 14-day quarantine to travelers arriving from countries with reported cases of a new COVID-19 variant, which experts say is more contagious than the regular variant.  PND