MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Tuesday, August 20, that the Commission on Audit (COA) has agreed on the need to conduct a special audit of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) funds.
Drilon said he had talked to COA Chairperson Michael Aguinaldo and received “no opposition” on his call for a special audit. Aguinaldo, Drilon said, even recommended for an “accurate review” of the actuarial life of Philhealth.
“I am glad that COA finds merit in our proposal for a special audit of Philhealth considering the gravity of the situation and the consequences if we fail to address the matter with urgency,” Drilon said.
Drilon has made the call in a radio interview on June 8, following allegations of corruption in the government agency.
“What we have found out so far could just be the tip of the iceberg. We do not know how deep it is. We do not know how far it is and how prejudiced the actuarial life of Philhealth is,” he said.
But Drilon raised concerns on the difficulty of gettinng information and documents from Philhealth.
He said that even COA internal auditors have faced difficulties in accessing documents from before.
“They should come up with mechanisms on how to facilitate the special audit and eliminate hindrances that prevent internal auditors from performing their tasks,” Drilon said.
During the Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing, Drilon had asked Philhealth about its financial viability in the next 10 years, and said that it may not be viable if it keeps incurring losses in the past 5 years to the tune of P26 billion.
“We all agree that a special audit is something that must be done to determine the true state of financial health of the agency and its viability to cover for medical expenses of millions of all Filipinos in the next 10 years or so,” he said. – Rappler.com