PhilHealth to collapse by 2022 if pandemic persists, warns exec
MANILA, Philippines — There will be no more Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) by 2022 if the coronavirus pandemic persists, an official warned on Tuesday.
“By next year po, wala na po tayong reserve funds. So one year lang po ang ating actuarial life,” Nerissa Santiago, Acting PhilHealth Senior Vice President, and Concurrent Vice President of Data Protection Officer, said during the Senate hearing on alleged widespread corruption within the state health pension fund.
Santiago was responding to queries of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, who was inquiring about the actuarial life of PhilHealth.
“So you’re saying that the actuarial life of PhilHealth is only one year?” Drilon asked. “Are you saying that in 2022 there will be no more PhilHealth?”
“Yes sir,” Santiago replied.
Drilon said the official’s disclosure was worrisome.
Santiago explained that the agency expects a net operating loss of P90 billion this year and P147 billion in 2021 if the pandemic persists and no vaccine is discovered.
To keep the agency afloat, she said the government should give more contributions or subsidies to PhilHealth.
“This is very serious. We would like really to hear what steps you are going to undertake assuming that your projections are true,” Drilon said. “This is really a cause of concern for the entire country when you are saying that in 2021 unless additional subsidies are given in the national budget, the PhilHealth system will collapse.”
Before the pandemic, Santiago said the actuarial life of PhilHealth was more than 10 years.
The pandemic, however, had a “double impact” on the agency’s program because of the decreased collections and expected increase in benefit payouts.
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