Press Release
July 24, 2020

Drilon to PhilHealth: 'We are watching you'
The Senate's chief fiscalizer says P221-B public funds need to be protected from PhilHealth 'corruption' and 'disarray'

With P221 billion of public funds, the total asset of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) as of April 2020, at stake, the allegations of widespread corruption within the health insurance agency cannot be swept under the rug, said Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Friday, as he called for an immediate investigation on PhilHealth.

"The high degree of corruption within PhilHealth must be stopped. It has reached a level akin to a state of emergency," Drilon said.

"The administration cannot just sweep it in under the rug. This should be immediately investigated," he stressed, adding, "the Senate should prioritize the investigation when it resumes session next week."

Drilon issued the statement following published reports that at least three executives of PhilHealth have supposedly resigned due to the widespread corruption issues within the agency, including the agency's Anti-Fraud Legal Officer Thorrsson Montes Keith.

"Whatever their issues in PhilHealth are, we must protect the funds of PhilHealth to the tune of P221 billion both from corruption and disarray in the agency," Drilon said.

Drilon said that he is no longer surprised by the allegations given the past history of PhilHealth, citing the issues of "ghost dialysis patients" and "ghost cataract patients" that hounded the agency.

It was Drilon who exposed the overpriced COVID-19 test package of PhilHealth last May. His expose forced the health insurance agency to lower the price from P8,150 to P3,409, saving the Filipino people P9.8 billion.

Given the scope and scale of the alleged corruption within the PhilHealth, Drilon said the agency stands to lose its credibility to manage about P221 billion of assets sourced from the hard-earned money of its members.

According to PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer Ricardo Morales in April, the total assets of PhilHealth is P221 billion.

The health insurance agency also receives a government subsidy of around P71 billion, Drilon noted.

"It is not every day that we see key officials resigning from their posts one after the other. We will get to the bottom of this. We are watching you, PhilHealth," he warned.

"Our health sector is crumbling and these controversies made things even worse. This is too much. We are in a pandemic where people are getting infected, over 2,000 have died, over five million Filipino families are starving, five million lost their jobs, and our economy is on the verge of recession. And yet, here we have PhilHealth in total disarray today because of corruption," said Drilon.

More than ever, what the country needs today is a stronger, credible and efficient health insurance system, Drilon underscored.

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