PhilHealth assures enough funds for universal healthcare

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 27, 2019   •   3425

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) assured on Tuesday there will be enough funds implement the recently signed Universal Healthcare law.

PhilHealth acting president Roy Ferrer clarified during a press briefing, that PhilHealth only lacks P22 billion to fund the implementation of UHC law and not P170 billion.

“There had been an appropriation of P18 billion, this is additional to the GAA, so there’s only P22 billion lacking, most likely we’ll get this from the sin taxes on tobacco and alcohol,” he said.

They are also confident in providing financial assistance to all its members especially after netting an income of P11.6 billion in 2018.

PhilHealth executive vice president Ruben Basa said the 2018 income is a complete turnaround from their 2017 net income of P237 million.

“We recorded a total of P32.5 billion in premium income, earned solid returns in our investments as evidenced by P5.1 billion windfall from government securities, and our total investment portfolio is at PHP149 billion while our reserve fund is at P97 billion at the close of 2018,” Basa added.

They were also able to reduce turnaround time to 20 days from last year’s 68-day average because of the e-Claims system which expedites the process in verifying the benefit eligibility of members, their status of claims and remove costs for physical transport and supplies in claims submission.

Meanwhile, Ferrer denied the debt claims of several private hospitals against PhilHealth and said that it might be the “bad claims which PhilHealth cannot pay”.

“Noong early part of 2018 we released P2 billion benefits payouts weekly at noong latter part po P3 billion, so I don’t think may utang sa private hospitals,” he added.

(During the early part of 2018, we realeased P2 billion benefits payouts weekly and in the latter part, P3 billion so I don’t think there are debts in private hospitals.) — Aileen Cerrudo

Senate eyeing to start probe on alleged PhilHealth corruption next week

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate is looking to start next week its investigation into the alleged anomalies within the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Senator Panfilo Lacson earlier filed Senate Resolution No. 475 urging the upper chamber to convene as a Committee of the Whole to look into the alleged widespread corruption, incompetence, and inefficiency that may lead to the financial collapse of the state-run health insurance agency.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the chamber will constitute as a Committee of the Whole because the scope of the probe is “too wide.”

“Hindi lang tungkol sa health, hindi lang tungkol sa PhilHealth, hindi lang tungkol sa violations at investigations of public officials,” Sotto said in an online press conference.


Under Senate rules, all senators are given voting rights on issues during the legislative hearing once the chamber convenes as a Committee of the Whole.

Sotto said around four to five witnesses are expected to appear in the hearing to provide evidence on alleged irregularities in the agency.

The probe comes after PhilHealth officer, Atty. Thorrson Montes Keith resigned from his post due to supposed rampant corruption in the agency. He also cited the “unconstitutional” mandatory payment of Philhealth for overseas workers as among the reasons for his resignation.

Despite the allegations, Philhealth President and Chief Executive Officer General Ricardo Morales still continues to enjoy the trust and confidence of President Rodrigo Duterte according to Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Duterte wants probe on alleged PhilHealth anomaly

Marje Pelayo   •   July 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte wants an immediate investigation on the reported corruption inside the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that the matter has come to the attention of the President, thus he ordered concerned authorities to investigate particularly the P2B-worth of “overpriced” IT purchases.

“Nag-i-imbestiga na po ang kinauukulan, pinakinggan po ang lahat at ang naging conclusion ay isang maigting na imbestigasyon ang gagawin, at least dito sa isyu ng IT purchase (All concerned are already investigating. Everyone involved has been heard and the conclusion was to conduct a thorough investigation, at least on the issue of IT purchases,” Roque said. 

Also, Roque encouraged Thorrsson Montes Keith who resigned from his position as the agency’s anti-fraud legal officer due to alleged irregularities in PhilHealth, to cooperate in the investigation. 

“Ang aking conclusion diyan talaga may sindikato talaga at ito po iyong pinakamatataas na career executives diyan sa PhilHealth (My conclusion to that is that there is a syndicate [in the agency] and they are the high-ranking career executives),” Roque said. 

PhilHealth president, retired General Ricardo Morales, for his part, denies allegations of corruption within the agency.

He even dared Keith to present his evidence to prove his claims. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

PhilHealth clarifies reports on alleged resignation of three execs

Marje Pelayo   •   July 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — PhilHealth on Friday (July 24) clarified reports on alleged resignation of three executives over issues of corruption.

In a statement, the state insurer mentioned the names of the officials concerned however, only Head Executive Assistant Etrobal Laborte was confirmed to have tendered his resignation.

As for Atty. Thorrsson Keith, the agency’s anti-fraud legal officer, PhilHealth said it has yet to receive his letter of resignation.

Meanwhile Atty. Roberto Labe Jr., the other person being involved in the resignation issue, “vehemently denied any news of his resignation.”

According to PhilHealth, Laborte’s resignation, which will take effect mid of next month, was due to his plans to pursue a doctorate degree.

Keith’s resignation, according to the agency’s statement, has something to do with promotion which PhilHealth assured to resolve through its grievance unit.

“PhilHealth assures the public that it takes seriously any issue on corruption, and asks Atty. Keith to substantiate his accusations so proper procedures can be initiated,” the agency concluded.

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