PACC finds ‘systematic flaw’ in PhilHealth system

PACC finds ‘systematic flaw’ in PhilHealth system

PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica (File photo)

MANILA – The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has found a “systematic flaw” within the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), which led to recurring corruption within the state insurer.

PACC Commissioner Greco Belgica made this statement following the resignation of PhilHealth Anti-Fraud Legal Officer Thorrsson Montes Keith due to alleged widespread corruption within the agency.

“There seems to be a systemic flaw sa sistema ng PhilHealth kaya napakahirap but parang paulit-ulit, paulit-ulit… hindi matigil ang korapsyon kasi basically insurance fraud (There seems to be a systematic flaw in the system of PhilHealth which is why it’s so difficult, which is why corruption keeps recurring and doesn’t stop),” he said in a Laging Handa public briefing on Saturday.

According to Belgica, they had “specific cases” to validate their theory.

“So marami hong nakinabang and we have specific cases na hawak to validate and to prove our theory and recommendation kung ano po ang dapat baguhin sa sistema (There were many who benefited and we have specific cases to prove our theory and recommendation what to change in the system),” he added.

He refused to elaborate on the results of their investigation but pointed out that their findings involved issues in the state insurer’s information technology (IT) system and legal services.

“Ayoko munang sabihin sa publiko ngayon. Siguro after na lang po mag-decide ng ating Pangulo at mabasa niya ito. Basically, IT eh, IT ang isyu. Malaking isyu rito po iyong IT nila, and then iyong legal services po nila (I don’t want to disclose it to the public now. Perhaps after the President makes a decision and reads it. Basically, the issue lies within its IT services and legal services),” he said.

Belgica said there were also “defects” within the system which were not corrected by officials.

“Kaya iyon, withdrawal lang nang withdrawal iyong mga whether it’s a hospital or it is a patient na manloloko sa PhilHealth. Tapos ang PhilHealth naman parang bulag na hindi nakikita iyong mga — actually, hindi lang parang, pero sa dami nang nawala eh talagang nabulag na sila sa mga ganitong paraan (Hospitals or patients are defrauding PhilHealth with withdrawals. But the PhilHealth seemed to be blind to these missing funds),” he said.

He said PACC has prepared to submit a report to President Rodrigo Duterte on the results of its investigation over the PHP221 billion in funds to implement the Universal Health Care law on Monday.

The PACC has identified at least 30 individuals involved in corrupt activities, he added.

Amid corruption allegations, PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales refused to resign, saying there is still a lack of evidence to prove these claims.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, chair of the Senate Health Committee, said Morales still has Duterte’s trust and confidence.

The Senate will hold an investigation into alleged irregularities hounding the state insurer starting Tuesday (August 4). (PNA)

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