PhilHealth’s debt to PRC for COVID-19 tests rises to P800M — Gordon
MANILA, Philippines — The standing debt of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) for COVID-19 tests now amounts to P800 million, the organization’s chairman said Saturday.
“Ayaw ko sanang pinag-uusapan yan pero dapat naman maghunos-dili yang mga taga-PhilHealth dahil aabot na halos ng P1 billion na naman. P800 million na naman (ang utang nila),” PRC chairman Senator Richard Gordon said in an interview over radio station DWIZ when asked to update on PhilHealth’s standing balance to the organization.
(I don’t want to talk about it anymore but those at PhilHealth should shape up, their debt is nearing P1 billion again. It’s now at P800 million.)
This means PhilHealth’s debt ballooned by around P200 million in a month. Gordon, in an earlier television interview, said that the state insurer’s balance stood at P627 million last Dec. 1.
“Hindi pwede kasi kung kelan lang nila gusto magbayad dahil lalaki at lalaki dahil dadating ang panahon and very soon baka mapigilan kaming mag-test,” the senator went on, noting that they would need to purchase equipment and to pay the medical technicians and other personnel in their laboratories.
(They can’t just pay us whenever they want to because there will come a time, very soon, that we have to stop testing again.)
According to Gordon, the PRC’s secretary-general is already sending a letter to PhilHealth to inform the state insurance of their standing balance.
“Ako nakikiusap sa kanila na mag up-to date-sila dahil masyadong napakalawak, napakalaki, nakakatakot e, tutumba ang Red Cross sa ginagawa nila,” the senator said.
(I’m appealing to them that they should be up-to-date with their payment because it’s too big, the Red Cross is bound to struggle with what they’re doing.)
“Ang utang dapat binabayaran. ‘Pag umorder ka, magbayad ka, mahihirapan yung nagbibigay ng serbisyo. Unang-una, dapat ang gobyerno dapat ang nanguna sa testing, e kami nasa 1.5 million na ang tinetest namin…natutuwa ako nakakapagserbisyo kami pero di namin kaya na malaki ang utang,” he added.
(Debts should be paid. If you order something, you should be able to pay it, otherwise, your service provider will struggle. First of all, the government should be the one to provide testing, we have already conducted 1.5 million tests…I’m happy we are able to serve but we can’t go on if the debt is too big.)
Last October, the PRC halted its COVID-19 tests for the government on arriving overseas Filipino workers, passengers in airports and seaports, individuals asking for COVID-19 tests in government swabbing facilities, among others, after PhilHealth failed to pay its debt, which stood at over P1 billion at the time.
After PhilHealth was able to settle half of its P1-billion debt, the PRC resumed testing last Oct. 28.
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