PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte may abolish or privatize the embattled Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) if its newly appointed president and chief executive officer Dante Gierran fails to institute reforms by the end of 2020.
Duterte reportedly bared this plan during his meeting with Congress leaders last Wednesday, September 16, 2020.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III confirmed this in a message to Senate reporters.
“He [Duterte] wanted PhilHealth abolished or privatized, I said it might be better to wait a few months more and see how the new administration performs, " the senator said.
“I explained that PhilHealth is an insurance corporation and not a health entity,” he added.
On August 31, Duterte named Gierran as the new president and CEO of PhilHealth, replacing Ricardo Morales who was told to resign for health reasons while investigations into alleged anomalies in the government-owned corporation were being conducted.
Duterte ordered Gierran to reorganize the executive officers to get rid of corruption.
In a Laging Handa briefing Friday, September 18, PhilHealth spokesperson Rey Baleña said millions of Filipinos would lose health insurance if PhilHealth is abolished.
“Magandang programa po ng National Health Insurance Program at taun-taon po marami po, milyong Pilipino ang natutulungan po nito,” he said.
“Kaya napakalaking kawalan po kung mawawala ang Philhealth. Kailangan na kailangan ito lalo sa ganitong panahon ng pandemya,” he added.
Because some of PhilHealth’s systems are not fully automated, Baleña said that corruption may easily take place.
“So ito po ang talagang dahilan kung bakit po ngayon sinusulong natin na magkaroon po tayo ng mas maayos na information technology system dahil ito ‘yung nakikitang suliranin, ‘yung nagkakaroon pa ng pagkakataon for human intervention,” he said.
Baleña said that PhilHealth officials are giving their “hundred percent support” to Gierran.
“Hundred percent na suporta at kooperasyon ang amin pong ibibigay kay president and CEO Dante Gierran,” Baleña said.
“Alam po ninyo, kahit sino naman po ang umuupo at nagiging leader dito sa PhilHealth ay lagi naman po na iyon ang aming ibinibigay–isang daan porsyento na suporta at kooperasyon sa anumang mga reporma na kanila pong ipapatupad sa PhilHealth,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)