PhilHealth says may finish liquidating 'stolen' P15 billion in March

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 15 2021 05:18 PM | Updated as of Feb 15 2021 06:29 PM

PhilHealth says may finish liquidating 'stolen' P15 billion in March 1
Philhealth Local office at Mother Ignacia Street. Quezon City. Taken on June 7, 2019. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — State medical insurer PhilHealth said on Monday it might complete next month a liquidation of P15 billion in public funds that were allegedly stolen by unscrupulous officials. 

About 94 percent of the funds has been liquidated, said PhilHealth President and CEO Dante Gierran.

“Siguro before the end of March, palagay ko, baka 100% na po ‘yan,” he said in a public briefing. 

Gierran earlier said lawmakers instructed him to find the allegedly stolen funds.

"Sa totoo lang po, hindi nawawala. And’yan lang, on record po," he said in late January. 

(In truth, that was not lost, it's just there, on record. Ninety-two percent has been liquidated.) 

Gierran's successor Ricardo Morales resigned with other officials in 2020, as they fought allegations of pocketing P15 billion in PhilHealth funds, approving alleged overprices projects, and disbursing advance payments to supposedly favored hospitals. 

Video courtesy of PTV

PhilHealth is in “continuous coordination” with National Bureau of Investigation, which Gierran previously led, to address possible fraud in the state medical insurance system, he said. 

PhilHealth is studying possible indemnification for people who will suffer adverse consequences from COVID-19 vaccines, the first batches of which are expected to arrive in the Philippines this month, Gierran said. 

The insurer has reserve fund “intended for that,” he said. 

PhilHealth will also meet with hospital leaders on Thursday regarding unsettled claims, said Gierran

“Sa ngayon talagang merong kaunting hina ng pagbabayad dahil nasa COVID tayo ngayon, COVID regime,” he said. “Pero allow us, leave us to work… Babayaran natin lahat itong mga healthcare institutions kung saan mayroon tayong utang.” 

(There is just a slump right now in payments because of the COVID regime. But allow us, leave us to work. We will pay our dent to all healthcare institutions.)