PhilHealth’s ‘P15 Billion Hindi Nawala!’ claim leaves netizens in disbelief

Published March 8, 2021, 8:27 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on Monday, March 8, reiterated that the P15 billion – which was allegedly “pocketed” by its senior officials – has been there all along.

(Photo from Philhealth Facebook)

PhilHealth, on its official Facebook page, said in a post that the controversial P15 billion “was not missing” – instead, it went to hospitals nationwide to help those who need assistance and support.

“Napunta ito sa 711 ospital sa bansa bilang ayuda sa pandemya at para mapanatili silang bukas para sa mga pasyenteng nangangailangan ng gamutan (It went to 711 hospitals in the country as pandemic aid and to keep them open for patients in need of treatment),” PhilHealth said.

PhilHealth added that the said P15 billion is “properly accounted for” because it went to patient-beneficiaries and “not into someone else’s pocket.”

Of the P15 billion, PhilHealth said that a total of P14.21 billion has been liquidated or 95 percent of the total Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) has been released nationwide.

PhilHealth added that out of the 711 health care facilities, 516 are fully liquidated; 153 have at least 50 percent liquidated; and 42 are below 42 percent liquidated.

Hours after PhilHealth’s post, netizens took to social media their thoughts on the claim of the state insurer.

Many expressed disbelief in PhilHealth’s claim – with some asking what took it so long for corporation to release the supposed breakdown for the funds in question.

Twitter user with handle @_aldrinjoseph said: “I don’t get it, bat ngayon lang nagkaroon ng breakdown yung 15B sa PhilHealth? Like ilang buwan na yung issue na yon. Wala bang spreadsheet ang PhilHealth? Gusto niyo ba gawan ko kayo?” @theweilaozu said: “grabe philhealth 1 year bago ma-iexplain kung nasang lupalop ung 15B” while @brightelara added: “kaya ko rin pong mag lagay ng random na number kung saan saan PhilHealth.”

User with handle @ancelmoooo was not satisfied PhilHealth’s explanation: “Ay, wait lang naman PhilHealth hindi pa rin malinaw. Last year lang ang pandemic then ang nawawalang pera is matagal na. Pakita niyo report ng COA.”

@TINkingofWoo, meanwhile, slammed the state insurer: “im still angry at how many Filipinos stopped paying PhilHeath premiums, exposing them to financial and health risks, because of PhilHealth corruption.”

Another user, with handle, @bumouty said: “The audacity of philhealth na sabihing hindi nawawala ang 15B?? Pwede niyo na talagang i-overthrown si satanas.”

User @dayughn simply said: “kapal ng mukha nyo philhealth.”

During the Senate hearing on August 4, 2020, state-run agency’s former anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes Keith alleged that at least P15 billion were “spent and pocketed” by PhilHealth’s officials.

In a statement dated August 6, 2020, PhilHealth categorically denied in “strongest terms” that its senior officials have “pocketed” some P15 billion as alleged by Keith.