Only 6 months needed to rid PhilHealth of corruption — PACC commissioner
MANILA, Philippines — Does the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) need years to cleanse itself of “systemic” fraud? Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica thinks six months should be enough.
“Kaya po ‘yan. Hindi po ako naniniwala na hindi matatapos ito ng six months. You put the right system, put the right people, do the right thing, six months ‘yan ma-iimprove ‘yan,” Belgica told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo on Wednesday.
(That is possible. I don’t believe it cannot be done in six months. You put the right system, the right people, and do the right thing, in six months it will be improved.)
Belgica reiterated that some government and private institutions have been offering their information technology solutions to PhilHealth for free, even as PhilHealth seeks a proposed P2.1-billion IT project to stem fraud and scams devised by some corrupt personnel.
“Gamitin muna itong nag-o-offer ng libre. In six months, linis po ‘yang IT system. Meron nang validation mechanism, hindi na makakapasok ang mga upcasing, ‘yung fake documents, fake claims. In six months maaayos nila ‘yan nang walang gastos,” the commissioner added.
(They should use the IT solutions being offered for free and the IT system will be cleansed. There will be a validation mechanism, and there will be no upcasing, fake documents, and fake claims. In six months, they can fix that at no expense.)
The anti-corruption official made this remark after PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales admitted during a Senate hearing Tuesday that “fraud has always been in the system as it has always been in all similar health systems in the world.”
Morales added that the problem in PhilHealth can take at least three years to solve.
Although Belgica agrees that fraud in the state-run insurer is systemic, he does not think PhilHealth will need years to resolve it, as stated by the PhilHealth chief.
In fact, he said the PACC has been speaking to IT solutions providers who said they can finish PhilHealth’s IT system within six months.
The PACC commissioner further said he believes that the corruption issue in the state insurer can be fixed before President Rodrigo Duterte ends his term, or even within this year.
“It’s really possible. Kasi andyan na po, the offer is already there,” he said.
He also pointed out that there are two steps in cleansing any agency: first to remove the corrupt officials, and second, to change the system.
Nevertheless, Belgica said the regional officers of PhiHealth should likewise be investigated for alleged fraudulent claims since they are the ones accepting claims and asking for funds from PhilHealth.
“Why are we all ganging up on general Morales? Tama na talagang (It’s just right that) it falls upon the shoulders of the leader. But if we want to clean things up, we have to clean up everything,” said Belgica.
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