Task Force PhilHealth submits findings to Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — The inter-agency task force created to look into alleged corruption activities in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) has submitted its findings to President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a statement Monday, the Department of Justice (DOJ), which was tasked to lead the investigation, said its 177-page report has already been submitted to the Office of the President.
The DOJ said the task force received and evaluated the testimony of 14 witnesses; reports and summaries of various cases whether under investigation or for resolution; documents submitted by resource persons and; reports and recommendations by other bodies including the Senate of the Philippines.
“Task Force PhilHealth also conducted seven hearings, spanning over 30 hours on various dates. During these hearings, representatives from the participating agencies of the task force propounded questions to resource persons whose testimonies were taken under oath,” the DOJ said.
“Based on all the foregoing, Task Force PhilHealth rendered its initial findings and submitted its recommendations to the President,” it added.
However, the DOJ did not divulge details on the task force’s recommendations to Duterte.
“As the task force awaits, any further directives from the President, its composite teams will pursue further targeted investigations on specific acts of fraud or corruption committed by health providers and PhilHealth personnel alike. Meanwhile, already pending complaints and cases shall be resolved by the agencies concerned with dispatch,” the DOJ said.
Duterte created the task force to probe PhilHealth officials over allegations of corruption that were unearthed during recent congressional inquiries.
Among allegations of corruption raised involve the procurement of alleged overpriced IT equipment; a supposedly questionable release of funds under the corporation’s Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM); and the alleged manipulation of the corporation’s financial status.
The Senate’s Committee of the Whole that conducted its own investigation into the PhilHealth mess has already wrapped up its inquiry, recommending the filing of cases against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, recently resigned PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales, as well as several top-ranking officials, over the alleged misuse of funds under the state insurance firm’s emergency cash advance measure.
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