Refute or resign, PhilHealth prexy told

SENATOR Panfilo “Ping” Lacson yesterday  said PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales must  give up his post if he cannot refute all the allegations against his leadership.

“Unless ma-refute niya ito credibly, itong mga allegation dito na sabi ko nga may documents, walang ibang mapuntahan kundi mag-resign. Kung totoo lahat itong allegation. And so far at face value sasabihin ko totoo ito kasi supported ito by documents,” Lacson said in an interview.

Lacson said there were three major issues they have against the Philhealth.

“Tatlo ang nakikita. Ayon sa reso, tatlo ang aming nakikitang major issues, (una ang) pagbabago ng patakaran sa tinatawag nilang Interim Reimbursement Mechanism,” the senator said.

Based on Philhealth Circular 2020-2007, Philhealth expanded the coverage of the IRM to include Covid- 19 cases.

“Ibig sabihin, kung bibigyan ng prayoridad ang mga hospital ‘yan talagang sagad. Pero sa Bicol pa lang at Eastern Visayas, nakapag-release na sila ng P247 million  at tatlong hospitals sa Bicol; at another P196 million  naman sa dalawang hospitals sa Region 8. Itong finile nilang application sa IRM, March 23. Eh,  record time, unaccredited pa man din ang mga ospital, at ang isa pang issue, iisa lang ang COVID patient. Pero aggregate total amount sa Bicol hospital lumalabas sa P247.46 million. Tatlong hospitals lang ito,” he explained.

“Sa Bicol, isang linggo na-release na. Sa Eastern Visayas naman, dalawang hospitals, March 23 rin nag-apply ng IRM, sa loob ng dalawang linggo na-release ang P196.5 million. Ang siste, isang pasyente lang ng COVID,” he added.

Another issue was the P734 million worth of ICT equipment that the Commission on Audit found questionable.

“Ito ang siningit nila, ICT resources. Ang description dito, flagrantly inserted. Na-approve na ng DICT ang budget na para doon sa PhilHealth. Pero binabago nila, nagsa-submit sila ng panibagong listahan na total amount P734 milliom, na-flag ng COA ‘yan,” he noted.

And the last issue was the manipulation of Philhealth financial status.

“May allegation na ganoon kaya ang COA, maski nakaraang pagdinig namin ang COA medyo nahihirapan suriin ang kanilang financial statement. Ang nakakatakot dito, pag minasahe nila ang kanilang financial statement, halimbawa nagkaroon sila ng prior year adjustment, narinig na natin ito noong nakaraang pagdinig, ina-adjust nila ang kanilang nakaraang taon para mapalabas na solid pa rin ang financial status, na marami pa ring pera.

“Pero sa pagsusuri lumalabas ang kanilang debt to equity ratio, 1 is to 0.99. Ibig sabihin hindi positive. Kasi P111B ang kanilang liability, ang kanilang equities nasa P109B,” Lacson said.

According to Lacson,  the investigation of the Senate of the Whole on Philhealth issues may start on July 30.