MANILA— Malacañang said Tuesday it has made headway in efforts to clean up state medical insurer PhilHealth, as its officials fought allegations of pocketing P15 billion in state funds.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he would not order the abolition of PhilHealth, retracting his remark in late September that he would ask lawmakers to scrap the government corporation.
"Hinihintay pa po niya iyong mga kasong isasampa sa iba-iba pang mga personnel at officials ng PhilHealth. Pero kumpiyansa po siya na dahil maraming nga nag-resign na at maraming na-suspend na eh mayroon nang malaking pagbabago d'yan sa PhilHealth," said Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque.
(He is waiting for the cases that will be filed against the various personnel and officials of PhilHealth. But he is confident that because many have resigned or were suspended, there is already great change there in PhilHealth.)
"Malaki na pong ang nagawa natin sa paglinis ng PhilHealth, ipagpapatuloy na lang po iyan," he told reporters.
(We have done a lot in cleaning up PhilHealth. We will just continue that.)
Retired general Ricardo Morales recently quit as PhilHealth president and CEO, while 43 PhilHealth senior officers either retired or resigned earlier this month amid corruption investigations at the agency.
Morales is among those recommended prosecuted for alleged anomalies at PhilHealth.
"Ito namang mga kabulastugan sa PhilHealth, ilang Presidente na rin ang dumaan d'yan at talagang iyong mga sindikato d'yan napakalalim ng kanilang penetration," said Roque. "Ngayon po isa-isang nawawalan ng ugat iyong mafia d'yan."
(The anomalies in PhilHealth have passed through several Presidents and the syndicate there has penetrated deep. The mafia there is now losing root one by one.)
Duterte said Monday he would no longer seek the abolition of PhilHealth because "it’s not easy really to create another one." He also told corrupt government officials that resignation would not save their necks.