Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque stressed that top officials of Philippine Health Insurance Coporation (PhilHealth) as well as some hospital owners have long been engaging in fraudulent means to steal the funds of the agency.
In The Filipino Times’ live streaming on Facebook titled ‘TFT Usapang OFW: Tulong at Serbisyo para sa bawat OFW mula kay Pangulong Duterte’, the spokesperson said that even before coronavirus disease (COVID-19), these officials have been involved in various scams and “gimmicks.”
“Nagkakaroon ng kontyabahan sa mga opisyales ng PhilHealth at mga ospital like ordinaryong sipon papalabasin na pneumonia para makakakuha ng bayad para sa pneumonia. ‘Yung mga mattanda hindi naman kinakailangan magpa-cataract, hahakutin nila at bibigyan ng grocery para maka-cataract at makasingil ang ospital,” he said.
With the current pandemic, however, Roque said their corruption schemes were taken to a whole new level.
He said that PhilHealth has sent “billions and billions” of pesos to places that do not have COVID-19 cases, asking people to spend it without the need to liquidate it.
“Binibigay lang nila sa mga kakontsyaba nila na hospital owners,” stressed the spokesperson.
He also cited how in its proposed ICT budget, the agency has blatantly overpriced its information and communications technology (ICT) projects—with laptops worth more than PHP119 million, 43 unspecified “ICT resources” worth P40 million, and 3 unnamed projects for PHP98 million.
“‘Yan ang mga paraan kung paano nila pinagpipyestahan ang pondo ng taumbayan at premiums na binabyaad, kasama ang binabayad ng mga OFW. Talagang walang hiya,” he said.
However, he said that new evidence against PhilHealth, he hopes, will bring about an overall change.
“Tingin ko dahil matindi na ang mga ebidensya na nakalap natin, magkakaroon na ng systemic change, hindi lang change in the faces, pero importante na matanggal na ang mga members ng sindikato na pinangalan naman sa Senado,” he said.