“Properly Accounted For:” PhilHealth Insists P15 Billion Not Lost to Corruption
The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) insists that the P15 billion alleged to have been lost to corruption in the agency is properly accounted for.
In a statement released on Twitter on Thursday (December 31), the state-run agency said that a total of P13.03 billion or about 87 percent of the P14.97 billion that was released to health care institutions (HCIs) under the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) has now been liquidated.
“A total of 353 HCIs have declared 100 percent liquidation as of December 13, 2020,” it added.
Philhealth also provided a table indicating the amounts released to HCIs per region and how much of it has been liquidated.
Properly accounted for: Ang IRM ay hindi ibinulsa kundi tinanggap ng mga ospital para sa kapakanan ng mga pasyente. Ito ay kasalukuyan nang nili-liquidate ng mga tumanggap nito.#MyPhilHealth pic.twitter.com/DCesrVSNyq— PhilHealth (@teamphilhealth) December 31, 2020
Officials of Philhealth have been accused of siphoning off billions of pesos in a massive corruption scandal that made headlines earlier this year. One of its anti-fraud officers named Thorrsson Montes Keith resigned, citing deep-seated corruption in the agency. During a Senate investigation on the issue, it was Keith who said that he believed the total amount lost to corruption in the agency reached P15 billion.
"Naniniwala po ako na ang dahilan kung bakit hindi natatapos ang korapsyon sa PhilHealth at naging kultura na po nito, ay ang pagtatalaga ng mga sindikato o mafia ng kanilang kasamahan, kasabwat o kapwa sindikato sa mga matataas na posisyon na nakakatulong sa kanilang iligal operasyon. (I believe that the reason corruption is ingrained in the agency and has become a culture is because there are mafia syndicates of officials appointed to those positions by high-ranking officers helping them commit illegal operations),” Keith said.
President Rodrigo Duterte asked Philhealth President and CEO Brigadier General Ricardo Morales to resign a few weeks after Keith’s statement. He was replaced by Dante Gierran, a former director of the National Bureau of Investigation.
Philhealth sparked outrage this week when it announced that, amidst the scandal that has yet to be fully resolved, the agency was raising contribution rates for Philhealth members this year “to ensure sufficient funding for the healthcare benefits of its 110 million members as mandated by Republic Act No. 11223 or the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law.”
“PhilHealth fully recognizes the current pandemic situation that is taking its toll on many businesses and livelihood of many Filipinos,” Gierran said in its atatement announcing the increase. “However, it is bound to implement the UHC Law which has been the beacon and source of hope for the country that is aiming for better healthcare services even as it battles the Coronavirus Disease 2019.”
According to the new payment scheme, those earning below P10,000 will need to pay P350 per month, while those earning P70,000 per month or higher is fixed at P2,450 per month. Meanwhile, the rate for those earning between P10,000.00 and P70,000 is at P3.50 percent or between P350 to P2,449.99.