Gordon says PhilHealth debt to Red Cross rising anew

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    SEN. Richard Gordon said the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) owes the Philippine Red Cross P659 million as of yesterday for COVID-19 tests it administers for government.

    In an interview with radio dzBB, Gordon said PhilHealth seems to be abusing PRC by not paying the humanitarian organization on time.

    According to Gordon, who is also PRC chairman, it was agreed that PhilHealth should pay the PRC every three days after COVID tests are done so its debt will not balloon. He said another agreement is that PhilHealth must maintain its debt at only P100 million.

    “It’s very unfair that we’re the ones put in a bind when it’s the government’s job. We’re in a bind because we’re helping but our help is being abused. It’s not right,” Gordon said.

    PhilHealth has incurred at least than P1.1 billion in debt to the PRC, which compelled the organization to stop PhilHealth referrals for COVID-19 tests on October 15.

    On October 27, PhilHealth gave PRC a partial payment of P500 million. As of November 21, it has paid the Red Cross P800 million, leaving a P300-million balance.

    The PRC conducts around 25 million COVID tests a day, which led to PhilHealth’s debt to increase again, this time reaching P659 million.

    Gordon said he wanted PhilHealth to pay every three days but the state insurer pays every 10 days.

    “Even if they pay P100 million, if they wait 10 days, each day it rises by P30 million to P35 million,” he added.

    He said he cannot understand why PhilHealth is taking time to pay its debt when the state insurer always says it has enough money to settle its financial obligations.

    Presidential spokesman Harry Roque assured the Red Cross the national government will pay its debt.

    Roque said the national government pays its debts and proof of this is when it paid PRC P500 million. He said the payment is just taking time as it has to undergo a process. – With Jocelyn Montemayor