Duterte will ask Congress to abolish PhilHealth

By: Krissy Aguilar - Inquirer.net | September 29,2020 - 09:58 AM

MANILA, Philippines — “I’m going to propose to Congress to abolish [it],” President Rodrigo Duterte said in a pre-recorded speech that aired Monday night.

He was referring to Philippine Health Corp. (PhilHealth), which continues to be hounded by allegations of corruption.

Privatizing it would not be possible, he said, because the government had no money.

“The insurance capitalists will say: ‘So we’re going to pay? But you don’t have funds,’” he said, speaking in Filipino.

In the meantime, Duterte said he would want to revamp PhilHealth first.

“But I will try to begin tomorrow shaking the tree at PhilHealth,” he said. “I plan to reorganize it and impose upon them a single line of authority.”

“These people will no longer do. They’re already entrenched. Nothing will happen. It’ either I’m going to revamp it or consider everybody resigned there,” he went on.

Previously, the President approved a task force recommendation to file cases against PhilHealth officials, including its former chief Ricardo Morales.

The charges will be graft, malversation and illegal use of public funds, gross misconduct and gross neglect, among others.

Among the alleged irregularities inside PhilHealth are the release of funds to hospitals under its interim reimbursement mechanism and its supposedly “overpriced” information technology project. / atm

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