House to conduct parallel probe on alleged ‘widespread corruption’ at PhilHealth

Published July 24, 2020, 1:07 PM

by Ben Rosario

The House of Representatives will conduct a parallel investigation into the alleged procurement anomaly linking certain officials and employees of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), a move that was welcomed by the state-run firm.

MANILA BULLETIN FILE

Anakalusugan Rep. Michael Defensor said the House Committee on Public Accounts which he chairs will conduct a motu propio investigation into media accounts of alleged anomalies that prompted two Philhealth officials to resign.

A similar congressional inquiry has been announced by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who was also among the lawmakers who pushed for a probe into the alleged “ghost claims” reaching P10 billion last year.

Dr. Shirley Domingo, Philhealth spokesperson, welcomed the probe, saying that the state-run insurance firm will fully cooperate.

A number of investigations had already been initiated by Congress, the National Bureau of Investigation, and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission but there remained no solid proof gathered by the probers to file the necessary charges against those who are supposedly behind the irregularities.

Domingo noted that the Commission on Audit (COA) has cleared Philhealth in the case of the supposedly missing P154 billion fund.

Defensor had previously initiated congressional inquiries into the planned increase of contribution that Philhealth wants to impose on OFWS.

The partylist lawmaker has also chided the firm for its alleged failure to implement the “no balance billing” system that Philhealth promised for the hospital admission of patients suspected of suffering from COVID 19 from February to April 14, 2020.

Philhealth CEO Ricardo Morales assured lawmakers that the claims for no balance billing are being processed, saying that this remains their commitment to its members.

 
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