PhilHealth must pay what it owes — Gordon

SENATOR Richard Goron said as a result of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s failure to pay its remaining balances to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), the country’s foremost humanitarian organization may likely suspend its COVID-19 testing.

Gordon, who has been at the forefront of the PRC’s response to COVID-19 pandemic, said in a radio interview on Saturday that the Red Cross will discontinue testing those whose payments will be charged to PhilHealth until the state insurer settles its obligations.

“Aabot na sa isang bilyon ang utang ng PhilHealth sa Red Cross. Pagkatapos nilang magbigay ng advanced payment na P1 million noon, paunti-unti na lang ang pagbabayad nila. Hindi naman pupuwedeng ganoon dahil kailangan din namin ng pambili ng materials para sa testing at pambayad sa mga tao. Kung hindi sila makapagbabayad hanggang Monday, ititigil muna namin ang testing,” he said.

As Gordon explained, PhilHealth’s non-payment of P700.5 million will prevent the Red Cross from being able to order its needed test kits to replenish its dwindling supply, thus, forcing the PRC to stop its operations in its testing center in Manila.

Moreover, the PRC will not be able to open its newly-built laboratories in Bacolod, Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro City.

“How can we operate if we do not have enough test kits and we do not have money to pay our med techs and other staff? We have been totally cooperative in all aspects but we cannot afford to continue if the government, particularly PhilHealth, continues to fail to pay for their lawful obligations,” he added.