Press Release
June 4, 2020

Drilon: Gov't saves P9.48-B from Philhealth's new COVID-19 test package

The Filipinos will save P9.48 billion from the new COVID-19 test package of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth), according to Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon, whose expose forced the health insurance agency to lower the price from P8,150 to P3,409.

"I commend the PhilHealth leadership for lowering its COVID-19 test package.This is a victory for all the taxpayers. Our continued vigilance made this happen," said Drilon in a statement Thursday.

"I am glad that we are able to help in averting a possible loss of P9.48 billion in public funds to the sticky fingers in Philhealth and their cohorts," he said.

The Philhealth said it will be releasing the new guidelines soon and when this testing package would become effective.

But Drilon said the new price package should be implemented retroactively.

"We do not want a single peso lost to sticky fingers who always want to dip their fingers into public funds. We must prevent public funds from going to the private pockets of these enterprising and heartless individuals who want to take advantage of the pandemic," he said.

"I urge the Philhealth to implement these new rates immediately and retroactively," he said.

He said the Philhealth should consider temporarily suspending payments to hospitals and testing centers related to COVID-19 tests until the new guidelines are implemented.

The minority leader asked Philhealth to submit a report to the Senate on the status of the payments on COVID-19 tests, including how much has been paid to hospitals and testing centers and how many claims are being processed using the old rates.

The Philhealth downloaded P30 billion last March to its accredited hospitals, which is equivalent to three months' worth of claims based on historical data, for COVID-related treatments.

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