MANILA--Health Secretary Francisco Duque III was aware of alleged anomalies within the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) having sat in the company for nearly 2 decades, an official told senators Tuesday.
Dennis Adre, PhilHealth Region XI vice president, said he and other officials earlier tagged in a so-called "mafia" in the state insurance firm were in fact the ones who had been questioning alleged irregularities and "flawed policies" there.
"The honorable secretary knows all that is happening in PhilHealth," Adre said in a Senate hearing, citing position papers on alleged anomalies his group had sent over the years.
Among those they questioned were the 2010 simplified reimbursement scheme, which Adre described as "very much like" the interim reimbursement mechanism (IRM) now being investigated by senators.
Adre said his group had also raised concerns over the all-case rate scheme, saying the payment system was "bleeding us dry."
It also came out with a position paper against the distribution of 5 million PhilHealth cards, a project worth P6 billion which was allegedly used to boost the campaign of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2004.
"If we are to be called mafia for questioning flawed policies and illegal orders, or for exposing irregularities, then so be it," Adre said.
"But we are the good mafia and they are the real and bad mafia. We represent the interest of contributors, the interest of government."
Adre was earlier named as part of an alleged mafia involved in illegal activities in the state health insurance firm.
He accused members of PhilHealth's executive committee of "covering up the anomalies that we have uncovered." They also used "reassignment as leverage and for retribution," he said.