Press Release
July 27, 2020

Pangilinan seeks Senate probe on PhilHealth corruption during pandemic

SENATOR Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan on Monday sought a Senate investigation on the "widespread corruption" in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) as cited by its anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes Keith for his resignation from the agency.

In Senate Resolution 474, Pangilinan said: "It is vital to determine the causes of the reported leakages and losses, investigate the alleged widespread corruption in PhilHealth, and hold officials accountable, as corrupt practices only disrupt the worsen health care delivery of health care during the COVID-19 pandemic and worsen its impacts to the detriment of Filipinos."

"The alleged corruption in PhilHealth in the middle of the worst health crisis in the country's history indicates a disastrous disregard and dereliction of duty in ensuring the efficient delivery of health care services, and securing and protecting protect the Filipinos' health people," he said.

Pangilinan, whose push for the approval of the Filipino-made COVID-19 test kits lowered the price of imported test kits by 26 percent, cited several corruption issues that have confronted PhilHealth:

  • PhilHealth's alleged release of hundreds of millions of pesos to some unaccredited hospitals with only few COVID-19 patients ;

  • PhilHealth's overpriced COVID-19 testing package revealed during a Senate hearing in May 2020, leading the state health insurer to lower the rate of the testing package from P8,150 to P3,409;

  • PhilHealth's P154 billion losses over the years to various forms of fraud, including P102 billion in overpayment, reimbursements for "ghost dialysis," false claims, and "upcasing" of illnesses;

  • Commission on Audit (COA)'s flagging PhilHealth's proposed P2.1-billion information technology project, saying the planned purchase of equipment worth P734 million was not included in the state health insurer's original budget proposal.

The senator also cited Keith's July 23 letter to PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales which listed his other reasons for resigning: his opposition to the required PhilHealth contribution of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs); the unfairness of the promotion process in the agency; and the delay of his salary and hazard pay when he started investigating PhilHealth officers.

"As the lead agency tasked with the implementation of the National Health Insurance and Universal Health Care programs, it is imperative that PhilHealth operates with credibility and efficiency in managing billions of public funds," Pangilinan said.

News Latest News Feed