Solon calls for PhilHealth graft probe

Mike Defensor

THE House committee on public accounts, chaired by Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor, wants an investigation into the alleged corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Defensor is set to file a resolution calling for a moto propio hearing on the matter.

Reports said that at least three high-ranking officials of PHilHealth were forced to resign because they could no longer take the alleged corruption in the agency.

Various sources revealed that during the latest Executive Meeting of Philhealth, the issue of corruption was raised and the discussion became so heated it led to the resignations of several officials.

One of those who resigned was Atty. Thorrsson Montes Keith, anti-fraud legal officer of the agency, who stated in his resignation letter that his salary had not been given on time since he started investigating PhilHealth officers allegedly involved in corruption.

The resignation letter also stated in essence that Overseas Filipino Workers should not be burdened with paying for the “spillages” of the agency.

Defensor said he wanted to have legislative investigation into this issue since PhilHealth  had  already issues of corruption in the past.

Last month, a report on missing ₱15 billion funds within the agency through "fraudulent schemes" went viral.

Likewise, in August of 2019, it was reported that “Commission on Audit (COA) has called out PhilHealth for the surge in the number of cases and claims of members, particularly those in Metro Manila and Rizal province, for pneumonia, acute gastroenteritis, urinary tract infection, sepsis and other diseases”.

“News report stated that 'the prevailing all-case rates (ACR) payment mechanism was one of the ways the health insurance company had lost a total of P154 billion since 2013. Of the 'losses' over the past six years, P102.5 billion was due to overpayment,” Defensor said in his resolution.

“When there seems to be a pattern of alleged abuses, where loopholes can be taken advantage of by the unscrupulous, a systemic change needs to be done to overhaul the present setup,” he added.