Ex-PhilHealth chief regrets underestimating IT project

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 01 2020 11:06 AM | Updated as of Sep 01 2020 11:15 AM

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MANILA — Former PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales said Tuesday he regretted underestimating the time needed to establish the state medical insurer’s information technology project, which had spawned allegations of corruption against him.

A World Bank report had said PhilHealth’s IT system faced “organizational, structural, financial, technical, political and cultural problems,” which was “ a polite way of saying it’s going to fail,” said Morales. 

“I underestimated the time required to put the IT project, on which I put a lot of hope,” he told ANC. 

The IT project encountered delays due to some PhilHealth board members who “did not understand it,” Morales said. 

“They thought they were being hoodwinked. That was unfortunate. That’s what I regret not doing,” he added. 

Whistleblowers in a Senate hearing had accused Morales of approving the purchase of overpriced equipment and software amounting to millions of pesos, among other alleged irregularities. 

President Rodrigo Duterte’s asked Morales to resign over his health condition, which he heeded last week.  

Duterte has tapped former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) chief Dante Gierran as Morales’ replacement.