Marikina City Rep. Stella Luz Quimbo said Sunday that privatizing the embattled Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) means outsourcing certain functions from the private sector to further improve the social health insurance program and restore the public trust in the State-run health insurer.
The House Assistant Minority Leader noted there has been confusion over her House Bill No. 7429 or the proposed Social Health Insurance Crisis Act of 2020 which empowers a sitting President to privatize the entire PhilHealth or its segments.
“Pag sinabi ko pong privatize (When I say privatize), ang ibig kong sabihin ay (what I mean is) i-outsource certain functions, parang kumbaga sa (just like in the) BPO, in-outsource ng mga companies ang ilang services (the companies are outsourcing certain services) like customers relations like sa (in the) BPO,” she told DZBB in an interview.
“PhilHealth will continue to be a government program kasi (because it’s a) social health insurance program, sa gobyerno (it should be with the government). It continues to be non-profit, hindi dapat ‘yan kumita (it should not be income-generating),” she added.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao had rejected Quimbo’s proposal, saying that it will run counter to the socialized health care for all Filipinos which is provided for under the Universal Health Care Law. He suggested that instead of privatizing PhilHealth, “the best thing is to jail its corrupt officials.”
“Kailangan natin ng (We need a) gamechanger sa (in) PhilHealth. Kailangan natin palitan ang pamamaraan ng pamamalakad nito (We need to change the way how it is being managed). Sana maging bukas tayo na ioutsource na lang natin sa private sector ang ilang mga functions na obviously hindi kaya ng gobyerno (I hope we will open that the certain functions that obviously cannot be handled by the government will be outsourced from the private sector),” Quimbo stressed.
She said the Information Technology and legal services should be outsourced from the private sector to improve the system in PhilHealth, which is supposedly infested by corruption.
HB 7429 provides the creation of an Executive-Legislative Social Health Insurance Crisis Commission to reorganize PhilHealth.
Under the bill, it is mandated to contract a Transition Management Team from a private corporation or a management consultancy firm which will implement the national insurance program pursuant to the UHC Law.
“Oras na mawala ang tiwala natin sa ating (Once we lose our faith in the) social health insurance program at hindi na tayo magbabayad (and we will not contribute anymore), ang ibig sabihin nun (it would mean) magkakaron tayo ng failure (we will have a failure) itong social health insurance program natin (in our social health insurance program)…kaya important na marestore ang tiwala natin dito sa programa na ito (that’s why is important to restore our trust in this program),” Quimbo said.