CHR to PhilHealth: Show transparency, assurance that funds are properly disbursed
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Friday called on the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to be transparent, as the state health insurer is currently embroiled in a controversy over allegations of large-scale corruption.
“While we appreciate the commitment of PhilHealth to exhaust all its legal measures against the perpetrators of the alleged malicious acts, we demand transparency and assurance that public funds entrusted to the corporation are properly disbursed and accounted for,” CHR spokesperson Jacqueline De Guia said in a statement.
“The fight against corruption is central to the struggle for human rights, as corruption has always been the great enabler of exploitation and injustice anywhere,” she added.
The state health insurer has been rocked with corruption allegations. It was during a Senate probe when former anti-fraud officer Thorrsson Montes Keith revealed that a “syndicate” within PhilHealth pocketed P15 billion from the agency’s funds.
Recently, PhilHealth announced that it suspended its interim reimbursement mechanism (IRM) for review, after several senators called to temporary stop it amid allegations that the release of funds for the country’s coronavirus response was marred with irregularities.
The CHR spokesperson said that corruption, “in all forms, negatively impacts the enjoyment of all human rights.”
“Corruption in its simplest definition is a betrayal of public interest,” she added.
De Guia added that the CHR backs the ongoing probe conducted by the Senate, Office of the President, and the Commission on Audit to look into the allegations.
“The alleged fraudulent and corrupt practices in PhilHealth demands an immediate and independent investigation,” De Guia said.
“These alleged irregularities undermine the State’s human rights commitment to maximize available resources for the progressive realization of rights, as recognized in Article 2 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights,” she added.
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