MANILA - PhilHealth president and CEO Ricardo Morales said Wednesday he would take a medical leave next week.
It was not immediately clear whether Morales would attend next week's Senate hearing on Tuesday, August 18.
Morales earlier said he had filed a medical leave to undergo chemo therapy for lymphoma.
"Matigas ang ulo ko pero sinusunod ko na ang payo ng doktor at sinabi niya kung gusto kong gumaling I will have to take leave. So next week magleleave ako," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(I am stubborn but I've been following my doctor's advice. He said if I want to get better I will have to take leave. So next week I will go on a leave of absence.)
Morales said he agrees with the proposal of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon to outsource the modernization of PhilHealth's information system.
"Payag ako d'yan. 'Yan ang isa sa mga pinakamagandang lumabas sa diskusyon kahapon ngunit hindi mangyayari overnight 'yan. Hindi mangyayari next year 'yan, matagal ang prosesong 'yan," he said.
(I agree with that. That's one of the good things that came out during yesterday's discussion but it can't happen overnight. It won't happen next year, it's a long process.)
"Kailangan talaga ng PhilHealth ng tulong, hindi namin tinatanggi. Alam natin maraming sakit pero kailangan tulungan dahil maraming matutulungan ang PhilHealth."
(PhilHealth needs help, we don't deny that. We know it has many illnesses but we need to help it because many relies on its assistance.)
The PhilHealth chief also said he would like to speak with President Rodrigo Duterte, who had ordered fresh investigation into corruption allegations in the agency.
"Hindi pa pero naghahanap ako ng pagkakataon para kami ay magka-heart-to-heart," he said when asked if he has talked to the President yet.
(I haven't yet but I'm seeking an audience with him.)
The President's anti-corruption commission said it would file complaints against 36 officials, while the Department of Justice has formed a task force that would also look into anomalies in the agency.
"Itong resulta ng PACC gusto kong makita kung ano ang resulta na sinasabi ni Commisioner (Greco) Belgica," he said. "Nakakatatakot 'yan, sweeping generalization 'yan eh. Maraming marangal sa PHilHealth, hindi naman lahat."
(I want to see the result of PACC's investigation, what commisioner Belgica ha sbeen saying. It's a sweeping generalization. PhilHEalth has many honorable employees.)
"Alam mo 6,000 employees ang PhilHealth, 'yung iba dyan nagaantay na lang magretire para makakuha ng pension eh. You know ang pagsuot ng uniform ng PhilHealth today is a badge of shame."
(PhilHealth has 6,000 employees, some are just waiting to retire to get their pension. Wearing PhilHealth's uniform nowadats is a badge of shame.)
The state insurance firm is under fire for supposedly releasing millions of COVID-19 funds to medical facilities without virus patients such as dialysis and maternity care centers.
Its information and technology budget, pegged initially at P2.1 billion, was also criticized for containing allegedly overpriced items.