PhilHealth official says IRM ‘not pocketed by anyone’
MANILA, Philippines — The billions of pesos under the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PhilHealth) Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) was not pocketed by the state insurance firm’s officials contrary to allegations, according to its corporate legal counsel.
“All the releases have been provided with receipts. IRM was not pocketed by anyone as alleged,” Atty. Roberto Labe Jr. said during the Senate hearing on alleged irregularities in PhilHealth on Tuesday.
According to Labe, PhilHealth has released a total of P14.971 billion to all 711 health care institutions (HCIs) nationwide.
In a breakdown, he said that PhilHealth regional offices have released a total of P13.197 billion to 402 private HCIs and 146 government HCIs.
Meanwhile, the head office has released P1.774 billion to 103 private HCIs and 60 government HCIs.
Regarding the breakdown for private and public HCIs, Labe said a total of P7.7 billion or 51 percent of the P14.971 billion has been released to 505 private HCIs, and P7.3 billion or 49 percent was given to 206 government HCIs.
Labe also said that P13.8 billion or 88 percent was released by PhilHealth regional offices, while P1.8 billion or 12 percent was released by the head office.
IRM is an emergency cash advance measure of PhilHealth to provide hospitals with an emergency fund to respond to natural disasters and calamities.
According to Labe, the IRM was also released to HCIs as it has been recognized internationally as “good practice” in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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