10 PhilHealth board members to face raps over irregularities — PACC
MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Anti-Corruption Council (PACC) will file complaints against 10 board members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) who are allegedly involved in irregularities within the state insurance firm.
PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica told INQUIRER.net that the 10 board members are among the 36 officials tagged by the commission on alleged irregularities in the corporation based on its initial findings.
“Ten are members of the PhilHealth Board where we will be filing criminal cases also with the Ombudsman while retaining the administrative prosecution considering that they are presidential appointees,” he said in a text message, declining to identify the concerned officials.
Meanwhile, “more or less 11” officials from the PhilHealth executive committee and other central office units are “still under fact-finding investigation to determine the degree of their involvement in the COA (Commission on Audit)-flagged IT (information technology) project and the alleged fraud involving billions of PhilHealth funds.”
“Fifteen officers and employees are from our investigation in one of the regional offices of PhilHealth, where administrative and criminal cases will be endorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman,” he also said.
In an earlier interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, Belgica said PACC may file next week complaints against the officials who were included in its initial report submitted to the Office of the President.
He said there could be more names to be added in the commission’s report as investigations are still ongoing.
The Senate is also investigating the alleged widespread corruption in PhilHealth. This followed after the recent controversial meeting of the firm’s officials and some members of the President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet, which was reported to have escalated into a heated exchange over the agency’s allegedly overpriced IT system.
Former PhilHealth anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes Keith also told a Senate hearing that about P15 billion funds from the state firm went to a “syndicate” in the state health insurer in 2019.
He claimed that all members of PhilHealth’s executive committee composed the alleged “mafia” in the insurance corporation which had been involved in fraud in the firm for the past several years.
In a statement, PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales denied “in the strongest terms” that the firm’s senior officials pocketed the hefty amount.
INQUIRER.net has sought comment from PhilHealth through a text message to Morales regarding the information from Belgica but has yet to receive a response as of posting time.
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