LIVE: House hearing on alleged corruption in PhilHealth

LIVE: House hearing on alleged corruption in PhilHealth
Watch the hearing live on Rappler on Wednesday, September 2, at 9 am

The House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 2 is set to resume its investigation into alleged “widespread corruption” in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

During its previous probe on August 27, PhilHealth’s Internal Legal Department senior manager Rogelio Pocallan Jr was detained in the House until Monday, August 31 after he was cited in contempt.

Last August 25, the House committee on public accounts with the committee on good government and public accountability unpacked the issues involving the Civil Service Commission (CSC) allegedly having internal directives to “suppress” information from legislators.

Last August 20, lawmakers learned about the alleged scam that neurologist Dr Mark Dennis Menguita has been running in Koronadal, South Cotabato. 

On Thursday, August 13, a day after a House panel hearing, PhilHealth suspended the Interim Reimbursements Mechanism (IRM), after lawmakers said the advanced benefit payment scheme was prone to corruption.

At the Senate hearing on August 11, PhilHealth legal counsel Roberto Labe Jr said the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City received the biggest amount of compensation under PhilHealth’s Internal Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) for the treatment of coronavirus patients.

On July 23, PhilHealth anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes Keith resigned, citing rampant corruption in the agency among his reasons. Before him, PhilHealth head executive assistant Etrobal Laborte resigned too.

During the Senate hearing on Tuesday, August 4, Keith said PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales ordered him to “massage” the issue of overpriced testing kits, even as executives misspent and stole around P15 billion, says resigned anti-fraud official. 

PhilHealth board member Alejandro Cabading, an accountant, also revealed that the state insurer’s proposed ICT budget was bloated by P734 million, while the acting vice president said that, with the looming deficit, PhilHealth could “collapse” by 2022. –

Watch the previous hearings here: