Bishop calls for thorough investigation of PhilHealth anomaly

Published August 13, 2020, 12:06 PM

by Christina Hermoso

Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos has called for a thorough investigation of all those involved in the alleged corruption and fraud at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

Bishop Ruperto Santos

Santos, vice chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People said, “All those who will be found guilty of fraud must be held accountable and punished.”

“The investigation must continue. No one is above the law and there should never be sacred cows. The guilty must be punished and there should be reparations,” the Church leader said over Church-run Radio Veritas.

Prior, former PhilHealth anti-fraud legal officer Atty. Thorrsson Montes Keith accused a number of PhilHealth executives of benefitting from the missing Php15 billion in PhilHealth funds. 
PhilHealth board member Alejandro Cabading, likewise, accused PhilHealth president and CEO Ricardo Morales of endorsing  ‘bloated allocations’ to  purchase IT equipment that were not approved by the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

Bishop Santos feared overseas Filipino workers might lose their trust in the agency if corruption continues therein.

“How can PhilHealth get and earn the trust of OFWs if there is rampant corruption within the agency? Before they ask for mandatory contributions from OFWs, PhilHealth should clean and cleanse its ranks,” Santos stressed.

OFWs are being required by PhilHealth to remit 3 percent of their annual salaries to the agency computed from a monthly pay range of ₱10,000 to ₱60,000, up from last year’s 2.75 percent rate. In 2021, the contribution will be raised to 3.5 percent and will be raised annually until the share hits 5 percent by 2024.

“Our OFWs are not milking cows. PhilHealth officials should always remember that the OFWs’ contributions come from their blood, sweat and tears,’ he said.