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Morales: Even Superman can’t resolve PhilHealth mess

/ 11:40 AM August 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — “Kahit si Superman paupuin mo dito, baka hindi n’ya kaya.”

(Even if you let Superman lead here, he might not be able to handle it.)

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Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales has this to say as he explained Wednesday that it is not easy to fix alleged irregularities in the state insurance firm.

In an interview with ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo, Morales reiterated that PhilHealth is currently investigating 20,000 cases of alleged fraudulent transactions that involve P4.5 billion funds, as the firm faces separate investigations on corruption allegations.

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“Nakaipon kami ng mga kaso at pinaprocess namin ito, pero information system pa rin ang malaking bagay dito. Walang madaling solusyon dito. Kahit si Superman paupuin mo dito, baka hindi niya kaya eh,” he said.

(We have compiled cases and are processing it, but the information system is the big issue. There is no easy solution to this. Even if you let Superman lead here, he might not be able to handle it.)

Asked about calls for him to resign, the PhilHealth chief said: “Matagal na, kung pwede lang sana (The calls have existed in the past. If only I can do it).”

Pressed why he could not yet step down from his post, he said: “May pinapagawa pa sa akin dito si Presidente eh.”

(The President still wants me to do something here.)

Morales added that there would be a lot of “disruptions” in PhilHealth if the top executives will be frequently changed.

Morales also said he wants to see the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission’s (PACC) list of PhilHealth officials allegedly involved in anomalies in the agency.

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“Sabi nga ni Commissioner Belgica, ipapa-suspend itong identified na ano (officials), siguro pwede natin gawin ito para mabawasan na itong sinasabi,” he said.

(Commissioner Greco Belgica said the identified officials should be suspended. Maybe we can do that.)

In a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Morales admitted that the “systemic” fraud in PhilHealth cannot be solved in one year or even in the few years to come.

“Sabi nga nila, Rome was not built in a day. Hindi mabibigla ‘yan. Pero dahan-dahan magsisimula tayo hanggang makakita tayo ng buwelo, hanggang matututo ang mga tao, hindi na sila gagawa ng mga katiwalian at malilinis natin,” said Morales.

(They say Rome was not built in a day. It cannot happen immediately. But slowly we’ll start until we see a flare until people learn, they’d no longer do corruption and we’ll be able to clean it up.)

“Pero it will not take overnight. Walang magic bullet dito sa ganitong klaseng problema,” he added.

(But it will not take overnight. There is no magic bullet in this kind of problem.)

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TAGS: corruption, investigation, Philhealth, Ricardo Morales, Senate
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