Drilon calls for special audit of PhilHealth funds

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has called on the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct a special audit of funds of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), following allegations of anomalies in the government agency,

Drilon made the call in an interview on radio DWIZ on Saturday, June 8, where he also said the the Senate minority bloc would file a resolution seeking a probe into the alleged PhilHealth payment for dialysis sessions of patients who were either dead or have completed their treatment.

“Kung totoo itong nangyayari na maraming raket diyan sa Philhealth, ako’y nananawagan sa COA na magkaroon ng special audit, because we cannot tolerate this. We must send people to jail for this,” he said.

(If it’s true that there are a lot of rackets in PhilHealth, I’m calling on COA to have a special audit, because we cannot tolerate this. We just send people to jail for this.)

He said he will ask COA chairman Michael Aguinaldo to order the special audit.

The senator said that when the 18th Congress opens session in July, the Senate minority bloc will asked the Senate committee on health and the blue ribbon committee to investigate the allegation.

Drilon stressed the importance of getting to the bottom of the matter especially as it involves the provision of universal healthcare (UHC)  meant to benefit poor people who can’t afford medical treatment.

"Importante ito dahil daang bilyon ang pera sa Philhealth at itong bagong batas na tinaasan ang excise tax sa tobacco at ang lahat ng ito ay pupunta sa UHC kaya lalong madadagdagan ang pondo nila. Ito ay para sa mga mahihirap nating kababayan kaya dapat lamang ay mailagay sa tama," he said.  (EXPLAINER: What Filipinos can expect from the Universal Health Care Law)

(It's important because PhilHealth has hundreds of billions of pesos in funds, and theisnew law seeking to raise excise taxes of tobacco, all of this will all go to the UHC, so they would get more funds. This is for our poor countrymen so this should be spent on the intended purpose.)

He added that talk about such a scheme had been going around for some time but with the recent exposé of a former PhilHealth employee about the anomalies, it was apparent that “this has not stopped.” 

Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros had also called for an investigation into the matter.

President Rodrigo Duterte said he planned to order a reshuffle of PhilHealth employees while the allegations were being investigated. – Rappler.com