Gov’t asked to upgrade PhilHealth IT system

DEPUTY Speaker and Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC)  party-list Rep. Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” Villanueva on Thursday called on  the government to intervene so that the much needed and delayed  upgrading of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s  (PhilHealth) information technology (IT) system will push through.

Villanueva, founder of Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide (JIL Church) and  the House Deputy Speaker for Good Governance and Moral Uprightness,  stressed this following the alleged systemic corruption and collusion in the PhilHealth during the on-going congressional hearings into the  alleged corruption in the state insurer body.

He underscored the importance to procure the soonest possible time the  IT requirement for the upgrading in order for payments and  disbursements of PhilHealth funds will not be at the mercy of the  alleged conniving corrupt PhilHealth officials and health care  institutions.

“We fully support the comprehensive investigation being done on the  officials of PhilHealth amidst the corruption scandals hounding the  agency and we demand that those who will be found liable of pocketing  public funds must be held accountable and penalized.

However, we appeal to the government to intervene, at the same time,  in order to pursue the procurement of the needed information  technology, which was previously stalled after being found to be  grossly overpriced. It is apparent from the proceedings of the  investigations that an improved IT is very much crucial to deter and  prevent fraudulent claims in the future,” said Villanueva.

“Concrete measures shall be undertaken in order to address the  perennial problems of fraud and overpayments in PhilHealth and I think  upgrading and capacitating its information technology system is  crucial. The government can either direct PhilHealth Board of  Directors to procure it now while closely ensuring adherence to  procurement laws or let other agencies, like the Procurement System of  the DBM, do it for PhilHealth. Unless we institute systemic reforms in  PhilHealth now, its funds will always be exposed and vulnerable to  fraud and stealing,” Villanueva added.