DOJ reviews PhilHealth’s agreement with Red Cross

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is reviewing a P100-million -19 testing agreement between the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

According to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, DOJ is giving the review “preferential attention” and will release a legal opinion within the week.

Under the memorandum of agreement (MOA), PhilHealth reportedly made an advance payment of P100 million to the Philippine Red Cross for -19 testing services. The law, however, mandates reimbursements instead.

The DOJ Secretary said PhilHealth chief Dante Gierran had requested an opinion on the MOA before the state insurer “makes a decision to pay its indebtedness to the Phil Red Cross.”

Malacañang said Tuesday that the government would pay at least half of the P930.9-million debt to the PRC “at the soonest possible time.”

President Rodrigo said Monday that the government would settle the PhilHealth debt after the PRC stopped its -19 testing services chargeable to the state insurer.

DOJ reviews PhilHealth’s agreement with Red Cross

“It’s a matter really of accounting and payment. Di ko lang po masigurado pero parang tumatawad din ata tayo ng kaunti doon sa sinisingil ng PRC na wala naman daw pong problema,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said at a news conference.

“May mga papeles naman na ginagawa, but I can assure you that at least half of that will be paid at the soonest time possible.”

On Sunday, PhilHealth spokesperson Rey Baleña said that the state insurer targets to settle its obligation within the month. He added they were awaiting clearance from the Department of Budget and Management.

According to Philippine Red Cross, PhilHealth needs to pay its overdue balance of P930,993,000 before they resume their service.

“Unfortunately, PhilHealth failed to meet its obligations. As a result, the PRC’s total billings to PhilHealth stand at P1,014,975,500.00 as of October 13, 2020. Of this amount, P930,993,000.00 represents overdue amounts,” it said.

PRC revealed PhilHealth’s last payment to PRC was made on September 8, but “not a single centavo has been paid since then.”

Vince Dizon, the deputy chief implementer of the Philippines’ -19 action plan, said Friday that the COVID-19 testing output is expected to decrease following the PRC’s decision.