Senate to proceed with inquiry into PhilHealth fund mess despite MECQ
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to reimpose strict quarantine protocols in Metro Manila won’t prevent the Senate from proceeding on Tuesday with its inquiry into the string of corruption allegations plaguing the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said they had summoned PhilHealth president and CEO Ricardo Morales to personally appear at the hearing along with other senior executives of the state-run insurance firm.
“This hearing is very important … especially now that the health of the country is [besieged by the COVID-19 pandemic],” Sotto told reporters.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson said PhilHealth board member Alejandro Cabading and former PhilHealth officials Etrobal Laborte and Thorrsson Montes Keith were expected to testify about the supposed pervasive fraud and other schemes devised by a so-called “mafia” at PhilHealth.
The three witnesses will also testify about the questionable release of the P30-billion Interim Reimbursement Mechanism to hospitals that had low or no COVID-19 patients and the alleged role of some senior PhilHealth officials in “manipulating” the financial records of the state insurer to conceal its true financial state.
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