DOH says delay in PAGCOR fund transfer to PhilHealth due to unsigned guidelines

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 20 2020 03:14 PM | Updated as of Nov 20 2020 03:41 PM

MANILA — The Department of Health clarified on Friday that the reason for the delay in the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation's (PAGCOR) remittance of funds to the country’s universal health care program was due to unsigned documents.

This, after Sen. Panfilo Lacson accused the DOH of failing to come up with guidelines to allow PAGCOR to remit billions of pesos to help fund the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

“There is that guideline already. Nakapagusap na ang Department of Health (the DOH already discussed this) together with the concerned agencies of government,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.

“Ang kailangan na lang mapirmahan po ng iba’t ibang ahensya na kasama dito para maipatupad itong pagta-transfer ng pera para sa PhilHealth,” she added.

(What we need is for the other agencies involved to sign this so that the transfer of money to PhilHealth can be implemented.)

“It’s not really the lack of guidelines but we are waiting for offices which are a part of this to sign the document so we can be able to implement it already,” she said.

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During budget deliberations at the Senate, Lacson said PAGCOR would have been able to remit P17 billion to PhilHealth if operational guidelines were in place.

Under the Universal Health Care Law, half of the national government's share from PAGCOR's income, as well as 40 percent of the charity fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) should be used to fund the country’s universal health care program.