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PRRD 'inclined' to intervene in PhilHealth issue

PRRD 'inclined' to intervene in PhilHealth issue
By EJ Roque
MANILA - President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Friday said he is inclined to intervene in addressing the issues that hound the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

"I am inclined to believe that I have to do something about it next week," he said during his Give Us This Day television guesting in Davao City.

The President said he will probably order a reorganization of PhilHealth.

"So when I go back, I’m making the announcement that I am maybe reshuffling the PhilHealth," he said.

Duterte cited the need for a system which will ensure greater accountability to address the alleged misuse of public funds, referring to the alleged overpayments made in PhilHealth claims amounting to PHP154 billion in the past six years.

"For the sheer amount that was lost, I have to reorganize your entity, change maybe all of you and install a more --- systems of accounting and accountability. Bakit umabot nang ganun kalaki (Why did it reach that huge amount) without the necessary checks along the way?," he said.

"When it becomes clear that the amount is getting big, somebody should look somewhere. I really don’t know how to do it. I am not a systems analyst but what we need are really business people because ‘yang mga ganun (that) is purely management," he added.

The President said he is very strict when it comes to the use of public funds.

"What is really worse is it’s public money. So I am very strict. I do not want to hurt people. At this time, I do not have the evidence or proof so that I am not in a position to say that there’s government men involved," he said.

Duterte ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe and summon hospitals and doctors who might be involved in the filing of fraudulent claims.

"The NBI should take over by tomorrow and start to summon everybody. And if the owner of that wellness thing there where these fraudulent claims were discovered, arrest them. That is my order," he said.

The President said once proven, hospitals and doctors involved may be charged with syndicated estafa, a non-bailable offense.

"Sila ‘yung unahin ko (Hospitals will be probed first). But I’m looking into any culpability of an employee of government joining or in cahoots or in conspiracy," he added.

The President expressed confidence on the integrity of PhilHealth acting president and chief executive officer Roy Ferrer.

"I do not have the slightest doubt about the integrity and honesty of Roy Ferrer, the acting operations officer of PhilHealth. And I do nothing that they are part of it. Actually, they are the also ones of those urging or batting for the prosecution of itong sa (these) PhilHealth privileges that were abused tremendously," he said.

On Thursday, a news report said Edwin Roberto and Liezl Santos, former employees of the WellMed Dialysis & Laboratory Center Corp. (WellMed) in Novaliches, Quezon City, claimed that PhilHealth continued paying for the dialysis of the center's dead patients without checking the validity of the claims.

The PhilHealth on Saturday clarified that the alleged overpayments made in its claims amounting to PHP154 billion in the past six years are efficiency gains, a feature in the case rates payment system that the agency is implementing. (PNA)

PRRD 'inclined' to intervene in PhilHealth issue PRRD 'inclined' to intervene in PhilHealth issue Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 5:08:00 AM Rating: 5

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