By Junex Doronio
FOR ONLY P20,000 one can get his or her Covid-19 swab test result in only six hours!
This was revealed by a fuming Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon who also chairs the non-government Philippine Red Cross.
“May nagtext sa’kin galing Washington DC. Ang sabi, ang charge sa kanya P10,000. Mukhang may nabebendisyunan doon,” Gordon revealed in an interview with ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.
“Isa pa, ‘My sister paid P7,000 to get the results in 24 hours. Naghintay siya beyond 24 hours and got it only after she expressed her rage… For 12 hours, it costs P10,000, and for 6 hours, it costs P20,000.'”
Red Cross and PhilHealth entered into a multi-million peso agreement in May this year where the PRC was to conduct a massive COVID-19 testing program charging PhilHealth P3,500 for each test.
But the Red Cross had to pull out its coronavirus testing service to government due to PhilHealth’s nearly P1 billion unpaid dues.
Gordon said the Philippine Red Cross could fall into bankruptcy should the PhilHealth fail to settle its mounting debt
estimated at P930 million.
The PhilHealth, however, was rocked by corruption charges whent a whistle blower, whistle-blower, Attorney Thorsson Keith claimed that PhilHealth officials pocketed some P15 billion through fraudulent schemes partly through the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM).
It was learned tha the IRM is the policy mechanism used by PhilHealth to justify the extension of cash advances to hospitals ahead of natural disasters and calamities like the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has already approved the recommendation of the Department of Justice-led (DOJ) investigating task force to file complaints against officials of PhilHealth over the alleged anomalies inside the agency.
Gordon said the overseas Filipino workers have asked the Red Cross to directly facilitate their coronavirus test, complaining of the exorbitant cost.