Drilon renews call for COA special audit on Philhealth
MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Sunday renewed his call for the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct a special audit on the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) as he underscored the importance of removing corruption from the office.
Drilon said that Philhealth’s net operating loss reached P26 billion over the last five years, excluding its unpaid claims amounting to P48 billion.
“Kaya siguro ang unang hihingin natin ay pwede bang magkaroon ng special audit ang COA sa Philhealth, hindi lang annual audit, para makita natin kung magkano ba talaga ang lugi sa Philhealth at magkano ang pondo na kailangan,” Drilon said in an interview over radio station DZBB.
Asked if an external auditor from the private sector could conduct the special audit, Drilon said that COA should be the one in control.
“Dapat ang controlling [agency] ‘yung COA. Pwede siguro kumuha ng technical people pero ang final say ang COA. Hindi pwedeng hindi COA ang mag-audit sang-ayon sa ating Constitution,” the senator said.
The senator further underscored that the audit is essential especially with the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act.
“Importante ito para sa atin. Kaya dapat unang-una, matigil ang corruption sa Philhealth. Hindi dapat mangyari iyan. Overypayment na nga, may corruption pa. Kaya hindi nababayaran yung claims ng hospital,” Drilon said.
“Itong mga regional public hospitals natin, kung sila po ang nilalapitan ng taumbayan, mayroon silang operating expenses at humihingi sila ng reimbursement sa Philhealth, kung hindi nababayaran ang hospitals, baka hindi na sila tumanggap ng pasyente,” the senator added.
Aside from the unpaid claims, Philhealth’s collection efficiency should also be looked at, Drilon said.
“May mga nagsasabi na 50% lamang ang collection efficiency ng Philhealth. I-examine natin ang sistema. Hindi yung dagdagan natin ng daan-daang tao. Let us look at the system, with the computerization, IT, hindi ko makita kung bakit hindi natin malagyan ng sistema na makatutulong dito sa malaking problema sa Philhealth,” Drilon said.
Drilon had earlier called for a special audit on Philhealth after reports came out regarding its alleged payments of “ghost” dialysis treatments. /je
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