Duterte to meet PhilHealth officials amid 'bogus' claims

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2019 11:35 AM | Updated as of Jun 10 2019 12:33 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte will meet with officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on Monday afternoon amid reports of fraudulent claims hounding the government health insurance agency.

"We will meet this afternoon with the President. After that, I will know what will be the definitive marching order," Health Secretary Francisco Duque told ABS-CBN News.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo also confirmed the scheduled meeting.

"Siguro magre-report sila (PhilHealth officials) kasi diba he (Duterte) instructed them to make a comprehensive report on what is happening in PhilHealth," he said in a Palace press briefing.

Asked on whether President Duterte plans to sack PhilHealth officials, Panelo responded: "Hindi natin alam yung mangyayari, na kay Presidente lahat yan."

(We don't know what will happen, that is all up to the President.)

"Given that, he has publicly acknowledged his trust on the president [of PhilHealth], I don't think there will be," Panelo said.

Duterte over the weekend said he would "reorganize" PhilHealth following a scandal involving bogus insurance claims allegedly amounting to more than P100 billion. 

The President noted that he does "not have the slightest doubt about the integrity and honesty" of Philhealth chief Roy Ferrer, but that a loss of around P100 billion is "totally, totally unacceptable."

Panelo said last Friday that Duterte had tasked PhilHealth management "to institute criminal actions against those officials and employees who wittingly or unwittingly allowed such misuse of funds to take place for years."