The ANC Brief: Squabbling among the President’s men

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 19 2020 05:00 AM

Some officials in the Duterte administration are clashing over the Universal Health Care law and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth). Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:

Bickering
PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales said he wanted to postpone the implementation of the law due to lack of funds. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, who was one of the authors of the law in the Lower House, said PhilHealth’s fund woes was due to corruption. Morales told Roque to go to court to prove his allegations of corruption.

More feuding
More infighting on the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health advocate Dr. Tony Leachon said it was Health Secretary Francisco Duque and Roque who asked for his removal from the task force. Leachon has been vocal over the lack of urgency and data management problems of the Department of Health (DOH). Meanwhile, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian called on Duque to take a leave of absence to ensure an impartial probe by the Ombudsman on allegations of irregularities in the COVID-19 response.

King of the road
Jeepneys, the king of Philippine roads, could return to the streets. Roque said jeepneys that are “roadworthy” may soon be allowed to ply their routes subject to health standards. Meanwhile, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Bayani Fernando said placing bus lanes in the leftmost lane of EDSA was not a good idea. He said this was not the time to experiment.

Profiteering during a pandemic
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said profiteers during lockdown used e-commerce to hoard face masks and other vital supplies. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) also noted that complaints regarding online transactions surged during the lockdown. Obviously, the law has yet to catch up with the phenomenon of online selling.

Ball is life
Patrick Tolentino was just looking for something to pass the time during the quarantine when he rekindled his love for basketball cards. But, as ANCX finds out, this hobby became a moneymaker.