The Philippine Red Cross wanted PhilHealth to pay its P903 million debt in full before they would resume their COVID-19 testing service to the state-insurer.
“They should pay the whole amount. Because that’s difficult. We’ll be left in the air. They’ll pay in half, leaving a balance of half a billion pesos — what will happen? That amount is going to increase again,” Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of PRC, said in Filipino.
Gordon explained that the Red Cross would want to resume the testing, but it does not have enough funds to buy additional testing kits and pay its workers.
He said half of the organization’s medical technicians and half of its staff are no longer reporting to work due to COVID-19 testing suspension.
“I don’t understand that. They tell us that they have the money. Why don’t you pay us?” Gordon said.
The Red Cross chief also said he does not know where the Palace got the notion it can pay half of PhilHealth’s debt first.
“Sila lang nagsasabi (They’re the only ones saying that). They talk to themselves all the time,” Gordon said.
Red Cross wants full payment of PhilHealth’s debt
Malacañang said Tuesday that the government would pay at least half of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PhilHealth) P930.9-million debt to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) “at the soonest possible time.”
President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday that the government would settle the PhilHealth debt after the PRC stopped its COVID-19 testing services chargeable to the state insurer.
“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 just awaiting the clearance from the Department of Budget and Management.