In sign of enormous task, Senate to convene as committee of the whole to probe PhilHealth | Inquirer News
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In sign of enormous task, Senate to convene as committee of the whole to probe PhilHealth

/ 06:48 PM July 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines—The Senate will constitute itself into a committee of the whole, which is an indicator of how important the chamber’s task is, to investigate reports of massive corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

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At plenary session on Tuesday (July 28), senators adopted Resolution No. 475 seeking an investigation into the “rampant corruption, incompetence, inefficiency” in the state-owned insurer.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Sen. Panfilo Lacson filed the resolution as allegations of widespread corruption in PhilHealth gained traction following a controversial meeting of PhilHealth officials and members of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet.

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The meeting was said to have escalated into a forum for heated exchanges over PhilHealth’s allegedly overpriced IT system, which led to several PhilHealth official turning in resignation letters.

Among those who quit was anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes Keith, who later accused PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales of being a “coddler or may have been the new leader of the syndicate” skimming off premiums paid by PhilHealth members.

Morales, former Army brigadier general, however, said Keith was only “vengeful” after supposedly being denied a position he was applying for.

“These rampant and pervasive allegations of corruption, incompetence and inefficiency have systematically impaired the management of PhilHealth to the detriment of this public institution and its members, without any remedial measures to improve competency and exact accountability, thereby endangering PhilHealth’s existence, necessitating the Senate’s intervention to prevent the corporation’s financial collapse,” the Senate resolution read.

Duterte has already ordered an investigation into the scandals gripping PhilHealth.

READ: Duterte orders probe into alleged PhilHealth irregularities

PhilHealth officials have since said they have “nothing to hide” and were ready to respond to the corruption allegations thrown at the agency.

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READ: ‘Nothing to hide’: PhilHealth prepared to face probe on corruption allegations

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