Senate adopts report on PhilHealth
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate adopted on Monday the Committee of the Whole report that recommended the filing of criminal charges against officials of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), particularly Health Secretary Francisco Duque III as chair of the state insurer.
In Malacañang, President Rodrigo Duterte, joined by select Cabinet officials including Duque, defended his health chief in a taped briefing, baring that Duque had offered to resign but that he dissuaded Duque from doing so.
“I have full trust in you,” Duterte said, adding that this was “not the time” for his health secretary to resign.
The Senate report added several more recommendations to address corruption and mismanagement in the agency — including an amendment to make the finance secretary the chairperson of the PhilHealth board instead of the health secretary; and an amendment subjecting to investigation and prosecution those involved in the overpricing of COVID-19 test kits.
The report would be submitted to the government agencies that are also looking into the PhilHealth issues, such as the Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman, according to Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
—Leila B. Salaverria
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.