Task force to expand PhilHealth probe after lawmaker's fresh exposé

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2020 07:07 PM

MANILA — The task force headed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigating alleged anomalies in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) will also look into a recent exposé by a lawmaker.

According to DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra, the probe will continue even after the hearings conducted by the task force had "wound up" last Sept. 7, to be able to dig deeper into new allegations made by House Deputy Majority Leader Bernadette Herrera-Dy.

"The task force composite teams will continue investigating even after our report to the President has been submitted, so these incidents of claiming reimbursements for service already paid in full by PhilHealth members will be included in the continuing investigations," Guevarra told ABS-CBN News in a text message.

In a privilege speech on Monday, Herrera-Dy revealed that her brother dodged an attempt by an unnamed Pampanga hospital to "reimburse" his paid COVID-19 swab test. The lawmaker said there may be corruption in the offer of "reimbursement." 

President Rodrigo Duterte last Aug. 7 formed a task force composed of several government agencies to investigate claims of corruption against officials of the state-run health insurer.

The task force has finished hearing about a dozen witnesses and is now evaluating evidence, said Guevarra. It is set to submit its findings to Duterte on Sept. 14, in time for a 30-day deadline to complete its probe. 

The two chambers of Congress also investigated the alleged anomalies in PhilHealth.