Archdiocese of Manila clarifies issue on Cardinal Santos Medical Center and PhilHealth

Published August 26, 2020, 6:13 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila on Wednesday issued a statement regarding the controversy hounding the Cardinal Santos Medical Center over a multi-million settlement case with PhilHealth.

In a brief statement Apostolic administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo said the archdiocese is not directly involved with the operations of CSMC even during the years prior to the settlement deal in 2011.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo

Although RCAM is the registered owner of the property where the CSMC is located, he said that the archdiocese decided to engage the services of a third party, that is Hospital Managers, Inc. (HMI) “to professionally manage and operate CSMC, on August 1, 1988, for a period of 10 years, renewable for another 10 years, until 31 July 2008,” Pabillo was quoted in a CBCP News post.

“Thus, in that period, RCAM was not involved in the day-to-day operations of the hospital, and hence was not involved in any transactions with PhilHealth,” he added.

Formerly known as St. Paul’s Hospital and originally founded by the Maryknoll Sisters, the facility was destroyed by heavy American artillery during World War II.

After the war, Cardinal Rufino Santos paved the way for the reconstruction of the facility but he died in 1973 before the facility started operating again.

In 1974, it began operation and was instituted as the Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital (CSMH) in honor of the first Filipino cardinal.

Later it was renamed as Cardinal Santos Medical Center in 2008 and was entrusted to HMI, a private company.

In August 2008, the HMI turned over the hospital management to the Colinas Verdes Hospital Managers Corp., under the leadership of business tycoon Manny Pangilinan.

Last August 25, some lawmakers pushed for the filing of charges against HMI and RCAM over alleged P170 million “missing” funds as the Lower House continued its probe into the corruption allegations faced by PhilHealth.

Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta of Sagip partylist said that PhilHealth allegedly demanded P240 million from the CSMC in overpayments of insurance claims.

Instead of refunding the said amount, however, HMI filed a case against PhilHealth. Marcoleta said that the case ended in a settlement where HMI only paid P70 million to PhilHealth.