By William Casis i FilAm Star Correspondent

No penalty will be imposed on government agencies despite the delay to pay the contributions of their employees, declared the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

As this developed, Dr. Roy Ferrer, PhilHealth acting president and CEO assured Philhealth members and their dependents from the public sector will continue to enjoy their benefits despite the pending approval of the national budget.

Philhealth said government agencies are exempt from interests and penalties because of the late remittance of their premium contributions to the state agency.

Philhealth isued the statement after  the Department of Budget and Management’s (DBM) pronounced  that several items in personnel services have been excluded pending Congressional approval of the proposed 2019 National Budget.

In its Circular Letter No. 2019-1 dated January 3, the DBM announced that among the excluded items are premium payments for PhilHealth and the Employees Compensation Commission, among others.

PhilHealth clarified that government agencies experiencing delays in the release of appropriation or budget allocation for the employer counterpart of the health insurance premiums of their employees shall be exempt from interests and penalties, provided that the remittance is made immediately upon receipt of the budget allocation.

The state health insurer reminded the affected agencies to continue deducting and remitting both the employee and employer share of the premium based on CY2018 budget to ensure that those qualified can continue to avail of PhilHealth benefits.

The difference resulting from the implementation of the fourth tranche of the Salary Standardization Law shall be remitted immediately once the proposed 2019 budget is approved.

Ferrer also reminded private employers to regularly remit and report the correct health insurance contributions of their employees to avoid being penalized and to likewise ensure uninterrupted benefit for their employees and their beneficiaries.