PhilHealth may collapse in 2022 without additional subsidy: official

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2020 01:12 PM

A man stands outside a PhilHealth office in Quezon City, June 7, 2019. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Philippine Health Insurance Corp could collapse in 2022 without additional subsidy from the government, an official said Tuesday in a Senate hearing into alleged irregularities in the agency. 

Before the coronavirus pandemic, PhilHealth’s actuarial life “is more than 10 years,” said its data protection officer Nerissa Santiago. 

However, the pandemic brought a “double impact” of decreasing collections and increasing payouts for the hospitalization of coronavirus patients, she said. 

PhilHealth is set to incur net operating losses of P90 billion this year and P140 billion in 2021 if the pandemic persists and no vaccine is discovered, said Santiago. 

“There will be no more reserve fund by 2021 so deficit na po tayo (we will run into deficit) in terms of collection and benefit payouts in 2021,” she told senators. “One year lang po ang ating actuarial life.” 

(The actuarial life is down to one year.)

Seeking to clarify this statement, Sen. Franklin Drilon asked: “Are you saying that in 2022, wala nang PhilHealth?” (Are you saying that in 2022, there will be no more PhilHealth?) 

“Yes, sir,” replied Santiago. 

“We can only survive with additional contributions coming from the government,” she said. 

Two PhilHealth officers earlier in the hearing testified on the agency’s purchase of allegedly overpriced equipment, software, and coronavirus test kits worth hundreds of millions of pesos. 

Sen. Panfilo Lacson also questioned PhilHealth's release of funds to supposedly “favored” hospitals and dialysis centers

Watch a livestream of the hearing here. 

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