PhilHealth-7 welcomes NBI investigation
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation in Central Visayas (PhilHealth-7) welcomed the decision of state investigators requesting the anti-graft office to probe them over allegations involving fraudulent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) claims.
“From the start, (PhilHealth-7) has welcomed the investigation conducted by the NBI-CEVRO (National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas), and has cooperated with them in every possible way, such as providing them copies of claim documents and allowing them access to our warehouse for the retrieval of all necessary documents,” said the firm’s regional office in a statement published on Thursday, October 29, 2020.
PhilHealth-7’s comments came after investigators from the NBI-7 filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas on Thursday against eight of their officials and four officers from a privately owned hospital in Cebu City.
NBI-7, in a press conference, said it discovered that PhilHealth-7 officials and officers from Perpetual Succour Hospital Inc. (PSHI) were involved in a fraudulent COVID-19 claim.
PhilHealth-7 said it has yet to receive the official copy of the complaints lodged against them but they took a swipe on NBI-7’s decision to do ‘a virtual trial by publicity’.
“This inevitably tarnishes the integrity and reputation of the Regional Office and its employees, and leads to further social media backlash that does not distinguish between guilty and innocent,” they said.
The company also assured that their officials and workers have been complying with the policies over benefits and claims of COVID-19 patients, and other government accounting and auditing rules on releasing payments.
“The entire (PhilHealth-7) workforce hopes that truth and justice would always prevail,” they added.
In the meantime, Lawyer Jose Ray Bael, legal officer of PSHI, said in a statement sent to CDN Digital on Thursday that they, too, are still waiting for the official copy of NBI-7’s complaint before they can release any comment on the matter.
PhilHealth, the state-owned health insurance firm, has been in hot water over allegations of corruption and fraud.
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to conduct an investigation on the anomalies plaguing the company.
RELATED STORY: Duterte will ask Congress to abolish PhilHealth
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