P3B in funds released by PhilHealth weekly ‘exposed to corruption’ — PACC
MANILA, Philippines — Corruption at the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) runs from head to foot, an official of the government’s anti-corruption body said Tuesday, disclosing that up to P3 billion in funds being released by the agency weekly is “exposed to corruption.”
“Madami na kaming inimbestigahan, kinasuhan, pinatanggal at pinakulong, Pero ang isyu ng PhilHealth: Grabe po ito. Grabe ang nakawan, grabe ang kakapalan, grabe ang kawalanghiyaan,” Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) commissioner Greco Belgica said during a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
The Senate resumed its investigation into fresh allegations of corruption within PhilHealth.
“Mula ulo hanggang paa ang corruption,” he said.
“Ito ang unang isyu na kailangan nating i-address ngayon dahil P2 billion hanggang P3 billion ang inilalabas ng PhilHealth linggu-linggo ay exposed sa corruption,” he added.
The PACC earlier recommended the firing or filing of cases against 36 PhilHealth officials over alleged irregularities in the state firm.
Belgica also previously said that PhilHealth has lost over P153 billion since 2013 to 2018 due to fraud.
He said the insurance fraud is being made possible due to a lack of transparency and prior validation of claims of members and health care providers (HCP).
He noted that PhilHealth merely conducts random post-audit, which makes audit of every claim impossible. Thus, he said, only claims that are “apparently suspicious” were being analyzed.
“Ang issue ng PhilHealth ay issue ng bawat Pilipino, dahil ang mandato nito ay siguraduhin na tutulungan tayo sa mga bayarin sa ospital kapag tayo ay nagkasakit,” the PACC official told the Senate.
“Kung grabe ang sakit ng Pilipino, mas grabe ang sakit ng PhilHealth. Kawawa po ang Pilipino,” he added.
To address fraud in the agency, Belgica recommended that PhilHealth improve both its IT and legal system.
“Dahil sa nakawan, namimeligro tayo na mawalan ng pondo. Paulit-ulit ang imbestigasyon pero walang nababago,” he said.
“Ang imbestigasyon at resulta nito ay dapat umabot sa ugat ng problema, hindi pwedeng ulo lang. Kailangan lahat hanggang baba makasuhan, maparusahan, at mapalitan lahat,” he added.
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