President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to form a task force to investigate the alleged corruption in PhilHealth.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Friday (August 7) said the President already issued a memorandum to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra to form a task force and file appropriate charges against officials proven to be involved in corruption.
The task force will also have the authority to audit PhilHealth finances, conduct lifestyle checks, and impose preventive suspensions of officials. The DOJ can also require other government agencies to assist in the investigation.
“Si President is exasperated. Gusto na niyang matigil itong korupsyon sa PhilHealth, at gusto na niya na may ngipin itong task force na binuo niya. Ang mensahe po sa mga buwaya ng PhilHealth, tapos na po ang maliligayang araw ninyo diyan (The President is exasperated. He wants to curb the corruption in PhilHealth and he wants this task force to have teeth. To the corrupt officials in PhilHealth, your happy days are over),” he said.
The task force will have 30 days after its formation to submit its findings and recommendation to the Office of the President.
Meanwhile, Malacañang assures that the government will not allow the PhilHealth funds to run out. This is amid reports that the agency’s actuarial life is only for one year, instead of 10 years.
“Kung hindi po sapat, gbyerno po talaga ang magdadagdag ng budget galing sa kaban ng bayan (If funds will not suffice, the government will supplement the budget),” Roque said. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (July 27) fulfilled one of his most important tasks as head of the country despite the risks of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
He opted to deliver his SONA personally at the Batasang Pambansa despite heavy rain and several reports of COVID-19 positive test results among some of the event’s supposed attendees.
The ceremony was obviously a deviation from the Congress’ decade-long tradition: no prior meet-up with the Senate and House leaders, no fancy welcoming rites, no live performers and no handshakes.
The President went straight to the plenary upon his arrival and after the opening numbers, he went on to deliver his report to the nation.
His speech lasted for about an hour and 40 minutes.
During his SONA, President Duterte asked the Congress to pass significant legislation that he believes are necessary in helping his administration propel the country even amidst the ongoing challenges.
One of which is the revival of death penalty for drug-related crimes.
“I reiterate the swift passage of reviving the death penalty by lethal injection for crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Acts of 2002,” he said in his speech stressing the dangers illegal drugs cause to an individual and families.
Likewise, he asked Congress to immediately enact the Bayanihan Two so that assistance to sectors most affected by the pandemic will be delivered right away and funds will be made available for the procurement of additional medical equipment that will augment the country’s healthcare system.
“I hope that we can get some or the same treatment of clarity, purpose and the fastness to support the passage of the Bayanihan [to Recover as One Act], which will supplement funds for recovery and response against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Aside from these two priority bills, the President enumerated several legislation which he wants Congress to deliberate and pass soon.
These include the passage of the:
Corporate Recovery And Tax Incentives For Enterprises (Create) Act
Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer Or Fist Act
Establishment of the Department Of Overseas Filipinos
National Land Use Act
Coconut Farmers and Industry Fund
Advanced Nursing Education Act
After his SONA, the President immediately left the Batasang Complex and went back to Malacañang. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
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