PhilHealth

Task force wants interim committee to supervise PhilHealth operations

Task force wants interim committee to supervise PhilHealth operations
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says it will be difficult to resolve PhilHealth's systemic problems 'if the people who have an interest to keep the present structure and systems will remain in their present positions'

The government task force investigating alleged corruption at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) recommended that an interim management committee supervise the agency’s operations while the probe is ongoing.

“We thought of an Interim Management Committee for PhilHealth in view of the apparent systemic problems that will be difficult to resolve if the people who have an interest to keep the present structure and systems will remain in their present positions,” said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, head of the task force.

Guevarra recommended the creation of the committee during an Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases meeting with the President.

He recommended that the Governance Commission for GOCCs, which is under the Office of the President, form the committee as part of PhilHealth’s structural reorganization. The commission would also be in charge of selecting members of the interim committee who will take over PhilHealth’s operations.

In their report to the President, Gueverra said Task Force PhilHealth’s probe is now focused on “centers of fraud”: PhilHealth’s financial management, its information technology system, the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism, and the Legal Sector, which Guevarra said seems to be “one of the biggest sources of allegedly fraudulent activities.”

The state insurer has been the subject of congressional hearings this month, with former PhilHealth staff-turned-whistleblowers accusing senior officials of corruption in the agency.

President Rodrigo Duterte created Task Force PhilHealth to investigate the anomalies revealed during the congressional hearings.

The task force has the power to conduct lifestyle checks on PhilHealth executives and issue preventive suspension should it find evidence of wrongdoing. – Rappler.com

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