Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson lamented Saturday that some people have taken advantage of the misery of the Filipino from the COVID-19 pandemic ‘’in many forms we cannot even imagine.’’
Lacson issued the statement as the Senate Committee of the Whole is drafting its report on the alleged multi-billion peso scam at the State-run Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) after three in-person and virtual public hearings that ended last Tuesday night.
‘’From the illegal advance payments to unauthorized HCI’s (health care institutions) in relation to the deliberate abuse of the IRM (Interim Reimbursement Mechanism) scheme, to grossly overpriced procurement of PhilHealth’s ICT (Information and Communications Technology) equipment, we continue to be confronted by issues we hate to hear, but which we now know anyway — the DoH’s (Department of Health’s) ‘double-the-price’ purchases of PPE’s (Personal Protective Wquipment) and face masks and probably even face shields,’’ Lacson, committee vice chairman, said.
‘’All these amid daily reports that many of our people, like locally stranded individuals (LSIs) are being dumped in less than human living condition facilities for days or weeks, waiting for government assistance and care. Yet, we hear the Secretary of Health saying that the pandemic is a ‘blessing in disguise,’ we know for sure we haven’t seen the worse for our suffering countrymen, health wise and their economic well-being,’’ he added.