Press Release
March 10, 2016


"A THREAT to PhilHealth's stability is a threat to the lives of many, if not all, Filipinos. This sudden pronouncement on the vigor of our public health care system is very worrisome and its inaccuracy is alarming."

Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, expressed his dismay over the reported disclosure of PhilHealth Board Member Ed Dorotan on Thursday that the national health insurance program "is dying."

According to reports, PhilHealth paid out a total of P97 billion to claimants as opposed to its P96-billion earnings in 2015. It was further stated that premium payments were allotted to the lifetime insurance of senior citizens and a huge portion of the payout in the last two to three years went to the enrollment of five million Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries.

"You can't just threaten that PhilHealth has only 'months to live' because of the billion-peso loss, and you can't just attribute its cause to the benefits received by our elderly and indigent beneficiaries. That would be unfair because more than deserving the assistance, it is their right," Guingona maintained.

The re-electionist lawmaker and co-author of the Mandatory PhilHealth Coverage for Senior Citizens and of the Institutionalized Funding of 4Ps added that instead of spreading undue panic, everyone must focus on further improving the system. For his part, he vowed continuous coordination with the health care agency to close any legislative gap.

Meanwhile, PhilHealth immediately issued a statement clarifying the health of its funds. According to President and CEO Alexander Padilla, PhilHealth's finances are "as robust, healthy, and substantial as ever," citing its "steadily growing" ability to pay for benefit claims. Padilla also explained that while they indeed exceeded in payout by P1-B vis-à-vis collection last year, PhilHealth gained about P7 billion from investment income apart from its growing reserve funds from P112 billion in 2012 to P128 billion in 2015.

"Thus, there is no reason for our members and other stakeholders to worry about our capacity to meet our obligations," Padilla said.

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