‘Maski paper clip’: Duterte wants PhilHealth to publish all procurement deals
MANILA, Philippines — In a bid to put closure on allegations of corruption within the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night ordered the state insurer to publish all procurement transactions in the newspapers, including its purchase of paper clips.
“In view of the, yung sama ng loob ng tao dun sa PhilHealth na ito. Lalo na itong PhilHealth, maski paper clip i-publish ninyo at sino yung bidder at nag-supply ng paper clip. Maski isa. Isabi mo diyan sa newspaper para mabasa,” Duterte said in a public address aired on Tuesday.
Before this, Duterte said government agencies would be required to publish in newspapers the details of their procurement related to the COVID-19 response.
PhilHealth is currently facing separate corruption investigations over the allegedly questionable release of funds through its Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) as well as the planned procurement of “grossly overpriced” IT equipment, among others.
During a Senate hearing last August 4, a resigned PhilHealth anti-fraud officer also alleged that a mafia-like syndicate has pocketed P15 billion through various schemes, including the release of funds through the IRM.
PhilHealth has denied this claim in the “strongest terms.”
It maintained that its IRM is “legal and necessary” for the country’s COVID-19 response amid controversies and allegations of favoritism in its implementation.
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