BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring all employers operating within the city to submit a clearance from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) as a requirement in the processing the renewal of their business permits.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Joel Alangsab stated that all employers will be required to secure a certification or clearance from the PHIC and subsequently submit the same to the Permits and Licensing Division under the City Mayor’s Office prior to the processing of the application or renewal of their business permits with the local government.
Under the proposal, no business application or renewal of business permit shall be acted upon by the Permits and Licensing Division without the mandatory PHI|C certification or clearance.
The Permits and Licensing Division will be tasked to strictly implement the provisions of the ordinance to allow the compliance of employers to the wisdom of the measure.
Violators of the provisions of the ordinance shall be fined P2,000 for the first offense, P5,000 for the second offense without prejudice to any administrative and criminal proceedings for the person who issued the business permit without the aforesaid PHIC clearance or certification.
For the employer who failed to submit the required PHIC certification and clearance, the erring employers will be penalized with a standard fine of P5,000 and subsequently closure of the establishment.
Republic Act (RA) No. 7875 otherwise known as the National Health Insurance Act of 1995 as amended by RA 9241 aims to provide all Filipino citizens with the mechanism to gain financial access to health services and to achieve such noble objective, it requires all employers to register their employees to the PHIC and remit the required premium to the corporation.
The ordinance added that some employers do not allegedly declare their employees for PHIC registration to the detriment of the potential members and their families, majority of whom belong to the lower income group, which has the greatest need for PHIC protection as mandated by law.
Further, the ordinance claimed that some employers do not remit the premium contributions deducted from a member’s monthly salary, do not remit the correct amount promptly, or do not submit the required remittance reports on schedule thereby causing anxiety among employees who expect to avail themselves of the benefits at point-of-service.
The ordinance underscored to effectively carry out the aforesaid noble objective of the law within its territorial jurisdiction, the local governments must require the mandatory PHIC registration and premium payment of employees of businesses as an additional requirement in securing or renewing of business permits within its jurisdiction.
The proposed ordinance was referred to the appropriate committee for study and recommendation whether it will be passed for second and third readings.
By Dexter A. See