While the Department of Labor estimates around 100 establishments in Palawan as having closed either temporarily or permanently, the local PhilHealth office said they have already received notice of temporary closure from some 225 establishments.

Of the 225 establishments, 21 have already filed for “total closure” citing financial difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marian Carlos, PhilHealth Palawan spokesperson, said most of the establishments who filed for temporary closure were from the tourism sector.

“Marami po dito ang nag-request ng temporary closure, nag-submit lang sila ng employer’s data record informing PhiliHealth na sila kung kailan nagsimula at kailan sila nag-open. Almost 225 employers ay nag-request ng temporary closure at 21 business establishments ang talagang nag-close na,” Carlos said.

She said that they have encouraged affected members to continue their contributions as “voluntary members”.

They were also advised to communicate with the social welfare and development office if they are eligible to receive emergency financial assistance from the government.

“Puwede nila i-continue ‘yon as a voluntary member from doon sa buwan na hindi na na-cover hanggang September 2020 na walang interest, same din po doon sa mga nagsara ang company. In-encourage naming sila na lumapit sa DSWD office kung pwede sila maisama sa sponsored program ng government na kung saan ang gobyerno ang sasagot ng kanilang monthly contribution, mga indigents kumbaga,” Carlos said.

She also reminded the public that PhilHealth does not impose interest on the payments from February to June this year.

“Tinanggal ni PhilHealth ang interest ng monthly payment in consideration doon sa mga apektado talaga ng pandemic,” she said.