Senators grilled Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) Tuesday for its possibly “over-bloated” list of senior citizen beneficiaries that included minor members as young as three years old.
Senator Francis Tolentino questioned the agency’s list of senior citizens during the Senate hearing on the alleged corruption in the state insurer. The list allegedly included individuals who are below 60 years old.
“Iniiba na ninyo ‘yung batas. May 18 years old, may 56 years old, papano natin maayos ‘to na binago ninyo pati ang classification ng senior citizen?” Tolentino asked officials of the state insurer.
(You are changing the law. Some are 18 years old, some are 56 years old, how can we fix this as well as the classification of senior citizens?)
Tolentino presented PhilHealth’s list of senior citizen members, which showed a certain Mora Dangdang Caramat is said to be 18 years old and an Amita Pason Taladbo who is said to be three years old.
“This list of membership which PhilHealth is now showing to us as senior citizens, those 18 years old, 34 years old, 35 years old are now entitled to senior citizen benefits?” he said.
PhilHealth ‘cleaning’ list of senior citizen beneficiaries
PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales said they are on the tedious process of cleaning up the list.
“‘Yung database ho ng organization is a very imporant portion of its operations. Ang PhilHealth po ang may pinakamalaking database kasi 109 million members at constant ho na nililinis ‘yan, constant na nililinis,” Morales said during the hearing.
(The database of the organization is a significant portion of its operations. PhilHealth has the largest database because it has 109 million members, and it is constantly being cleaned.)
“Mahirap ho mag-maintain ng database kasi palipat-lipat ho ng address, mayroong nagiging 21 years old, nagiging senior, may nag-asawa, may namatay, so constant po talaga ang effort sa paglinis ng database,” he added.
(It is difficult to maintain the database because the address is changing, some are 21 years old, some are senior, some are married, some are dead, so the effort to clean the database is really constant.)
Morales added Philhealth is planning to hire a corporate data officer, in coordination with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).