‘Conflict of interest’: Roque mum over alleged overpriced PhilHealth test package
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday opted not to comment on the alleged overpriced COVID-19 test packaged shouldered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
During an online press briefing, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque kept mum on the issue, citing a conflict of interest.
“May conflict of interest po ako dyan dahil ako mismo ang nagsampa ng kasong kriminal laban sa mga kurakot sa PhilHealth. Hindi na po ako magkokomento,” Roque said when sought for comment on the issue.
Prior to his return as Palace spokesman, Roque filed in February a graft complain against PhilHealth officials for their alleged inaction on a scam involving the issuance of fake premium receipts to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Roque said he will instead forward the complaints on the alleged overpriced COVID-19 test packages to the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP).
“Fo-forward ko po lahat ng transcript ng Senate proceedings, lahat po ng powerpoint kay [OSAP] Secretary [Jesus] Quitain pero ako po, hindi na po ako magkokomento, conflict of interest,” he said.
During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon questioned PhilHealth’s P8,150 COVID-19 test package saying it was a “little overpriced.”
The senator warned the cost may lead to “depletion” of PhilHealth’s resources and estimated an P8.3 billion loss due to “overpayment.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque explained during the same hearing that PhilHealth’s COVID-19 test packages, which range from P2,710 to P8,150, would depend on how the accredited testing laboratories procured the testing kits.
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