PhilHealth: P15B fund not missing

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    THE Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has liquidated around 92 percent of the P15 billion fund that was allegedly missing or had been pocketed by former officials of the state insurer, its president and chief executive officer Dante Gierran said yesterday.

    Gierran said the fund amount was not missing, contrary to earlier reports.

    He said lawmakers, during hearings, asked him to look for the funds.

    Former PhilHealth president and CEO Ricardo Morales resigned last year after he and several other officials of the agency were accused of irregularities, like pocketing the P15 billion, approving overpriced projects, and releasing funds to favored hospitals.

    Gierran said around 13 PhilHealth personnel have been suspended last year over supposed anomalies. He did not provide details.

    Gierran also said PhilHealth has some debts but it has money to pay. He said that as of November, the agency has P132 billion.

    He said there are just some problems that delay the release of the payments, like incomplete or inaccurate data.

    In October last year, the Philippine Red Cross stopped COVID-19 tests chargeable to PhilHealth after the government agency’s debt reached nearly P1 billion.

    Gierran said PhilHealth has made payments to the PRC and now only owes the organization P400 million. He said an advance payment of P100 million has been made to PRC under the leadership of Morales, which should bring down the debt to P300 million.

    On reports that PhilHealth owes the Medical City over P1 billion in claims, Gierran said it is still being verified.

    He said there are claims from hospitals that have been denied, or returned for being “not so good claims” because of inaccuracies and incorrect information, among others.