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Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) officials pocketed some P15 billion through fraudulent schemes, former PhilHealth officer revealed in a Senate hearing on Tuesday, August 4.
“Naniniwala po ako na ang perang winaldas at ninakaw ay humigit kumulang ₱15 billion,” former PhilHealth anti-fraud legal officer Thorrsson Montes revealed.
Keith, who earlier resigned citing “widespread corruption” in the agency, testified before the Senate Committee on the Whole and exposed what he called the “crime of the year” in PhilHealth.
According to the resigned officer, the crime involved PhilHealth’s Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM), which provides emergency funds for hospitals to respond to natural disasters and calamities, as well as the procurement of allegedly overpriced IT equipment.
"Ang akin pong natuklasan sa PhilHealth ay matatawag na krimen ng taon dahilan sa pag sindikato sa pamimigay ng cash advance– ang Interim Reimbursement Mechanism, at pag overpriced at pa ulit-ulit na pagbili ng IT equipment," Keith said,
Keith also said that corruption continued to proliferate in the agency because of “mafias” who were behind the illegal operations.
"Naniniwala po ako na ang dahilan kung bakit hindi natatapos ang korapsyon sa PhilHealth at naging kultura na po nito, ay ang pagtatalaga ng mga sindikato o mafia ng kanilang kasamahan, kasabwat o kapwa sindikato sa mga matataas na posisyon na nakakatulong sa kanilang iligal operasyon,” he said.
PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales earlier defended IRM, saying its releases are “based on the historical claims of hospitals, and undergo a process of application, evaluation, validation, and recommendation” at PhilHealth Regional Offices and approval of the Head Office.