President Duterte has been asked by the task force investigating anomalies at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to create an interim management committee at the state-run insurer.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, convenor of Task Force PhilHealth made the suggestion to Duterte during a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases held in Davao City Monday night, Aug. 24.
During the meeting, Guevarra said Task Force PhilHealth has already proposed this before the Governance Commission for Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GCG) which is under the Office of the President.
“We have broached the idea to the GCG of creating an interim management committee for PhilHealth and it’s something that probably the Office of the President may direct the GCG to do so that they will do it more immediately,” the secretary told the President during the meeting.
Guevarra said Task Force PhilHealth intends to make recommendations what structural reforms may be needed at the state-run insurer.
“In the course of our investigation we will probably be able to discover what structural reforms needed to be done at PhilHealth,” he said.
The secretary also hopes that the “GCG will be able to make proposals for the reorganization whether partial or total of PhilHealth.”
“We hope that the job or the work of the task force may also help in one way or another help Congress in crafting new legislation to strengthen PhilHealth and make it more responsive to the needs of the people,” he added.
The secretary assured that Task Force PhilHealth will use in its investigation the hearings conducted by both the Senate and the House of Representatives on the PhilHealth anomalies.
“Our ultimate objective within the time limit that you gave us is to be able to file legal action to the Office of the Ombudsman,” he told the President.
At the moment, Guevarra said Task Force PhilHealth is focusing its investigation over four areas of fraud, namely, the information technology (IT) system, the legal sector, the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM), and financial management.
The secretary told the President the task force has also been conducting hearings and inviting resource persons.
“We also created composite teams to follow-through what we the information that we received during the task force hearings or meetings,” he said.
The composite teams are composed of members from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Commission on Audit (COA), Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).
“Even as these composite teams are going through the process of investigating more deeply these alleged irregularities we are also conducting lifestyle checks of certain key officials of PhilHealth,” added Guevarra.