PhilHealth vows to settle P930-M debt to Red Cross on October 26
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has vowed to settle its debt to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Monday, Oct. 26.
In a statement on Friday, the state health insurer said that it received the legal opinion from the Department of Justice (DOJ), which stated that the PhilHealth-PRC memorandum of agreement “is not subject to Procurement Law.”
“Having been in receipt today of the DOJ legal opinion saying that the PhilHealth-PRC MOA is not subject to Procurement Law, PhilHealth will release payment on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020,” PhilHealth said.
PhilHealth has an overdue balance of over P930 million to PRC for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing of overseas Filipino workers and other individuals.
The payments would be “subject to completeness of billing requirements submitted by the PRC, and in compliance to COA (Commission on Audit) rules,” PhilHealth added.
“This should enable the PRC to immediately resume its testing of swab specimen of concerned sectors which PhilHealth pays for,” PhilHealth said.
Malacañang earlier said that PhilHealth should only partially settle its debt to PRC while the agreement is being reviewed.
The statement was issued after Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the PRC, demanded that the debt be paid in full, and rejected the government’s plan to settle half of PhilHealth’s obligation by next week.
Since Oct. 15, PRC stopped conducting tests on arriving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), passengers in airports and seaports, individuals needing COVID-19 tests in government swabbing facilities, front-line health and government workers, and others included in the expanded testing guidelines of the Department of Health.
Because of the issue between the Red Cross and PhilHealth, over 6,000 OFWs are stranded in different quarantine facilities in Metro Manila.
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