PhilHealth chief: Maybe Roque one to implement universal health care law


Posted at Jun 19 2020 02:28 PM | Updated as of Jun 19 2020 04:12 PM

MANILA - The chief of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) on Friday welcomed Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s statement that someone else should implement the Universal Health Care law.

“Ang masasabi ko kay (what I can say to) Atty. Roque, be my guest. My family will be very grateful if they can find somebody, baka siya (maybe him). No problem with me. But he’s not the President, he’s the spokesman, so these are two different things,” said PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales.

Morales said he would rather not bother the President about the issue as he has other more serious problems at hand. 

“We’re still working on the solution. I think it’s premature to bother the President. We should come to him with the solution. That has not yet been obtained. Too early to bother the President with this,” he said on ANC’s Headstart.

Morales earlier recommended to delay the implementation of the Universal Health Care law citing lack of funds, but Roque questioned his alleged inaction over corruption issues within the agency.

Roque, a former sectoral representative, is among principal authors of the law, which ensures access of all Filipinos to health care.

“i have looked for that P154 billion from day 1. I have not found it. I’ve asked the Commission on Audit, the insurance commission, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission… it remains unsubstantiated,” Morales said. 

He was referring to Roque's estimate that P154 billion in PhilHealth funds was lost to corruption. 

“Sec. Roque does not have access to the operating figures of PhilHealth, so I wonder where he got those figures,” he said.

“Even if we find these people, but I think we cannot because there is no evidence, it is not enough to shore up the finances of PhilHealth today,” he said.

In an earlier interview on ABS-CBN Teleradyo, Morales admitted that there are errors in the processing of claims but not as large-scale as that being alleged by Roque.

He said PhilHealth processes 50,000 claims a day and some are even being done manually. 

“Not on that scale. Mayroong mga tumatalbog dahil nagkamali 'yung clerk, mali 'yung code nire-reject ng computer… mga ganun pero hindi yung sinasabi niyang systemic na sindikato na gumagawa ng fraud. Wala kaming nakita,” he said.

(Some bounce because the clerk made a mistake, the computer rejects the code... but nothing systemic, no syndicate committing fraud. We did not see any.)

The state health insurance agency was earlier mired in a scandal over alleged ghost claims.

Morales, meanwhile, challenged Roque to take his allegations to court.

“Kung mayroon siyang ebidensiya ‘di i-file niya sa court nang malaman natin kung sino-sino ba ang mga ito at marekober ang pera kung totoo man,” he said.

(If he has evidence then file it in court so we find out those involved and recover the money, if it's true.)