Preventive suspension of 13 PhilHealth officials not linked to congressional probe

Published August 22, 2020, 7:38 PM

by Analou de Vera

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) said the preventive suspension against 13 of its officials is unrelated to the ongoing investigations on the alleged fraudulent activities within the agency.

“We wish to clarify that the preventive suspension orders recently issued by the Ombudsman to some of its current and former officers is not in any way connected with the ongoing hearings in both houses of Congress regarding the above-mentioned alleged corruption,” PhilHealth said in a statement on Saturday.

The Ombudsman recently ordered a six-month preventive suspension against 13 senior PhilHealth officials.

“The Ombudsman order stemmed from the complaints of ‘grave misconduct, oppression and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service’ filed by some regional officers in connection to the administrative cases filed against them between 2017 to 2019,” PhilHealth noted.

The agency said that its services will still continue despite the recent suspensions of its officials and the ongoing probes.

“PhilHealth assures the public that members can continue to avail [themselves] of their health insurance benefits as normal through the PhilHealth-accredited healthcare facilities, especially during this time of the pandemic,” it said.

“Amid all of these, PhilHealth reiterates its commitment to fully cooperate with all the investigating authorities,” it added.

Ilocos office roof leak

Meanwhile, the agency said it welcomes any investigation concerning the roof leak in its office in Ilocos region.

“PhilHealth is open for any investigation over the leak incident in Region 1 office due to heavy rains on August 19, 2020,” the state health insurer posted on its official Facebook page on Saturday.

The agency said that members of the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, and the National Bureau of Investigation “have initially looked into the incident.”

“There were no documents destroyed and everything are accounted for,” said PhilHealth.

Several senators urged concerned authorities to immediately secure important documents that may be necessary in the ongoing investigations on the alleged irregularities in PhilHealth.