‘Mukhang pera,’ Duterte says of PRC amid PhilHealth debt issue
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night called the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) “mukhang pera” (greedy) after the humanitarian organization resumed its COVID-19 testing services following the government’s payment of half of its nearly P1-billion debt.
Duterte issued the jab in a meeting with Cabinet members in Malacañang.
During the meeting, Health Secretary Francisco Duque II reported that the suspension of swab tests at the PRC resulted in a decrease in the nationwide COVID-19 reporting.
“Nabayaran na po ang PRC at nagbukas na po silang muli kaya patuloy na po ang kanilang pagsusuri ng mga swab specimen,” Duque said.
(PRC has already been paid and it is open again to continue checking the swab specimen.)
This is when Duterte commented: “Mukhang pera.”
The PRC temporarily suspended accommodating COVID-19 tests that are chargeable to PhilHealth since October 14 because of the state insurer’s over P930-million debt.
It has resumed its testing services after PhilHealth made a P500-million partial payment for its debt.
On Thursday, PhilHealth paid P100 million more to the organization.
The PRC, headed by Sen. Richard Gordon, has played a key role in COVID-19 screening in the country. It has conducted over one million coronavirus tests, accounting for at least 25% of the total coronavirus testing done in the entire Philippines.
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