PhilHealth still owes Red Cross over P1-B, says Gordon

Published October 26, 2020, 3:48 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Richard Gordon on Monday said that the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) has not yet paid its over P1-billion debt to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) despite its numerous announcements they will settle their outstanding balance.

Senator Richard Gordon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Gordon said that in view of this, they have no choice but to cancel their chartered flight to China for the procurement of additional COVID-19 test kits scheduled for tomorrow.

Gordon said they were supposed to go to China on Tuesday to replenish the test kits and other COVID-19 supplies needed for their operations.

“To replenish we need to be paid. We are waiting for payment as the Chinese always require cash payment. Because of PhilHealth’s promises to pay we had chartered a flight to China for tomorrow,” Gordon said when sought to comment on the issue.

“We thank (Foreign Affairs) Secretary (Teodoro) Locsin of DFA for helping us with the permits from the Chinese government, but due to PhilHealth’s non-payment, we do not have the money to pay for the test kits and other equipment worth $6 to 8 million dollars just for this particular shipment,” he added.

“We will have to cancel the flight tomorrow if no payment is made. We sadly note that PhilHealth keeps giving excuses on such a serious and critical matter,” he further said.

Gordon, president and CEO of the PRC, said he is disappointed that PhilHealth keeps giving excuses “on such a serious and critical matter.”

“PhilHealth has been perfidious, reckless and they have been in violation of the contract so many times,” he said.

According to Gordon, the PRC covered the first humongous wave of people to be tested. It has also consistently accepted persons referred to them by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), such as frontliners, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), for COVID-19 testing.

“PhilHealth should be ashamed of themselves for betraying our vulnerable people. They have been cheating the people since they started operations overcharging and overpaying,” Gordon lamented.

“Those who have been cheating before COVID are still there. PhilHealth is playing with people’s lives . A lot more people may be spreading COVID because of the severe lack of testing,” the senator stressed.