Morales admits systemic fraud prevalent in health systems worldwide, including PhilHealth

Published August 11, 2020, 11:39 AM

by Mario Casayuran

Cancer-stricken retired Brig. Gen. Ricardo Morales, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), conceded on Tuesday that fraud at PhilHealth and other similar health systems worldwide is systemic.

Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) President Ricardo Morales

Morales told the Senate Committee of the Whole chaired by Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III that fraudulent activities at PhilHealth could not be resolved in one year given the magnitude of the job given to it.

‘’I miscalculated the time required to get the IT (information technology) up and running was not enough for the job. The internal anti-fraud mechanisms were inadequate and inappropriate to address the internal weaknesses,’’ he said.

‘’The resources necessary for the transformation of an organization of this size and mission given to it are not found within the organization,’’ he said.

Morales, a member of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement (RAM) that helped cause the downfall of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, maintained that making the job of PhilHealth a success will favorably affect the lives of 108 million Filipinos.

He was named by President Duterte as PhilHealth chief in July last year. Both are from Davao city.   

‘’From management, with all humility, we commit hard work, dedication, transparency, and full cooperation in this investigation and all agencies. Together, we can achieve the goals of health care,’’  he added.

Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II told the Senate that his department still has to receive a request from PhilHealth for the evaluation of modernizing its procurement programs.