Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque vowed he would reveal the corruption and new anomalies at the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) soon, adding if he could, he would commit full-time on cleaning the state insurer.
Roque said there is still corruption in Philhealth even after President Rodrigo Duterte changed its leadership in 2019 following allegations that the agency used its funds to pay for non-existent dialysis patients.
“Meron na naman pong bagong kalokohan diyan. Kaya lang po nahihirapan ako dahil presidential spokesperson pa rin po ako pero hindi ko po maiwan ‘yung katotohanan na tayo ang nagsulong ng universal healthcare tapos hindi magtatagumpay dahil lamang sa korapsyon,” Roque, a former party-list congressman, said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.
(There new anomalies there. But I struggle because I am still the presidential spokesperson, but I can’t deny the fact that we pushed for universal healthcare, and yet it would not succeed because of corruption.)
“Iniisip ko na nga po, magpapaalam na ako kay Presidente, siguro tuluyan ko na lang, full-time ko na lang talagang linisin ‘yang PhilHealth na ‘yan dahil gusto ko naman ‘yan ang magiging legacy ko.”
(I was thinking, I could ask for the president’s permission. I would commit full-time to clean Philhealth. I want that to be my legacy.)
Roque wants to clean corruption in Philhealth
Roque issued the statement after PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales revealed Tuesday it sees to have a fund deficit by 2024 based on the current COVID-19 scenario in the country.
Morales also revealed that PhilHealth collections are decreasing amid the health crisis. He said the Philhealth is also taking a “very prudent approach” regarding the new package rates under the UHC. He recommended postponing the implementation of the UHC and primary care benefit expansion.
But Roque insisted corruption is draining PhilHealth’s funds.
“Bakit ni isa wala pa siyang [Morales] nalilitis? Ni isa wala pa siyang natatanggal tapos magrereklamo siya na walang pera. Natural dahil ang mga buwaya buhay na buhay pa rin diyan sa PhilHealth,” Roque said.
(Why has he not put anyone in a trial? Not one has been fired, and he complains that he has no money. It’s natural because “crocodiles” are still alive at PhilHealth.)
“Huwag pong magbulag-bulagan, huwag magbingi-bingihan. Sapat na panahon na po ang lumipas para maimbestigahan na niya at nalaman na niya kung ano ang nangyayari sa PhilHealth.”
(Don’t be blind, don’t be deaf. He had enough time to investigate, and he already knew what was going on at PhilHealth.)