NBI vows to file more raps over PhilHealth anomalies

Published January 13, 2021, 1:08 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

More complaints will be filed concerning corrupt activities at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) assured on Wednesday, Jan. 11.


In the meantime, NBI National Capital Region (NBI-NCR) Director Cesar Bacani said the cases investigated by his office are currently being evaluated by the NBI’s Legal Division to determine if there is enough evidence for the filing of complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB).
“Nasa NBI legal pa for evaluation ang ibang kasunod (The cases are with the NBI legal division),” Bacani said.
“Depende sa legal division if agree sila sa recommendations ng NCR office (It’s up to the legal division if it will agree to the recommendations made by the NBI-NCR office),” he added.
The latest complaint filed by the NBI before the OMB concerns alleged irregularities in the PhilHealth’s implementation of the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM), in particular, involving health provider Braun Avitum which received P33.8 million.
“Nai-file noong Monday (It was filed last Monday),” Bacani said.
The complaint recommended that the respondents be held liable for violation of Section 3 (e) and (j) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; Misappropriation of Funds of the Corporation defined and penalized under Section 44 of Republic Act No. 10606 or the National Health Insurance Act of 2013; and administrative cases of grave misconduct, gross negligence and conduct prejudicial to public interest.
The respondents include former PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales and other former and current executives of the state health insurer, namely, senior vice president Arturo Alcantara, senior vice president Israel Francis Pargas, executive vice president Arnel de Jesus, and executive vice president Renato Limsiaco.
The complaint also named as respondents nine personnel and officials of PhilHealth NCR and three executives of Braun Avitum.
Though IRM is only released to eligible health care institutions during “fortuitous events”, it was found Braun Avitum received a total of P33,800,868 from the IRM even before the pandemic and was utilized for hemodialysis procedures.
Also, the release of funds were granted even though Braun Avitum is facing numerous administrative cases for filing multiple claims, reach of warranties of accreditation, claims for non-admitted/non-treated patients and unjustified admission beyond accredited bed capacity.