The task force investigating alleged corrupt activities at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will be collaborating with lawmakers who are also currently looking into anomalies in the state-run insurer, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Saturday, Aug. 15.
“We’ll collaborate with the legislative committees conducting probes in aid of legislation to speed up our work and avoid unnecessary duplication, so that we may take legal action immediately,” said Guevarra, convenor of Task Force PhilHealth.
Guevarra formed the task force last Aug. 7 pursuant to the directive of President Duterte who wanted the state-run insurer investigated over corruption allegations.
The task force is composed of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), the Commission on Audit (COA), the Civil Service Commission (CSC), the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP), the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the National Prosecution Service (NPS).
Guevarra said each of the members agreed to expedite the conduct of existing “investigations or special audits” on PhilHealth.
“At the same time, Task Force PhilHealth as a composite group will initiate fresh investigations on alleged anomalies that are not the subject of any ongoing investigation or audit,” he said.
“We’ll focus on identified centers of fraud and certain regional PhilHealth offices that have been notorious for years,” he added.
Guevarra said the task force has already begun conducting lifestyle checks “on past and present PhilHealth officials, whose names have been repeatedly mentioned by witnesses and resource persons.”