DOF assures funds for PhilHealth

The Department of Finance (DOF) is reassuring the public that the government is committed to fully fund the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) law despite corruption allegations hounding the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the DOF, the Bureau of the Treasury and the Insurance Commission have been “closely working” with the PhilHeath administration to address the financial troubles of the state health insurance company.

“The DOF team, composed of an undersecretary, the national treasurer and a deputy commissioner of the Insurance Commission, has been working closely with PhilHealth since October of 2019 to achieve the President's goal of providing UHC,” Dominguez said.

The finance chief said the DOF team will soon come out with options that should strengthen PhilHealth’s fund life and the tools necessary to administer the UHC.

“While funding is a key component, improvements in their financial planning and control as well as actuarial systems are fundamental to the achievement of this goal,” Dominguez said.

The government’s chief economic manager also assured that they will help in plugging all leakages in PhilHealth finances “to allow the funds from members' premiums and the taxpayers to be utilized properly.”

 Last Friday, the DOF team met with the PhilHealth officials, led by its newly-appointed president Dante Gierran, to prepare their proposals to the health insurance’s policymaking body.

“We will meet again on Tuesday for a pre-board meeting and on Thursday for the board meeting,” Dominguez said.

Signed in March last year, the UHC Act automatically enrolls all Filipino citizens in the National Health Insurance Program and prescribes complementary reforms in the health system.

UHC gives Filipinos access to the full continuum of health services they need, while protecting them from enduring financial hardship as a result.

 Following Gierran’s appointment last week, several lawmakers have expressed confidence that the former National Bureau of Investigation director has strong credentials to resolve the problems hounding PhilHealth.

In August, President Duterte asked Gierran’s predecessor, Ricardo Morales, to vacate his post due to failing health.

Morales, who is currently being investigated over alleged corruption, is reportedly undergoing treatment for cancer.