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Labor unions plea for PhilHealth probe

In the midst of allegations of corruption and mismanagement within their agency, the PhilHealth Workers for Hope, Integrity, Transparency, and Empowerment (PhilHealth-WHITE) urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate further into the accusations.

These allegations came in light of former PhilHealth anti-fraud officer Thorrsson Montes Keith speaking about dubious practices taking place within the agency, in addition to reports suggesting that there have been questionable purchases in the process. Members of the executive committee, including PCEO BGe. Ricardo Morales was tagged as a suspect in the case.

In their statement last August 19, the union claimed that with three of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PhilHealth) executive officers on leave during the investigation, the union claimed that they sought a “caretaker” to guide them. Someone that they deem to be filled with both integrity and incorruptibility.

“But we need somebody at the helm to steer us at these uncertain times — both internally, in terms of operations; and externally, amid the scrutiny and prejudice of the public eye,” the union said.

Due to the controversies surrounding PhilHealth, PhilHealth-WHITE pleaded to the public and to government officials to cease branding all workers as equally corrupt.

“While we understand the outburst, we appeal to a stop to all these sweeping accusations hurled at hardworking and honest PhilHealth workers,” they said while appealing to the public for aid in boosting the morale of the medical workers.

The union, however, swore that they will remain to serve the general public, despite the allegations.

“Rest assured that there will be no disruption of operation and we shall continue to serve all of you. We know that now, more than ever, you need PhilHealth. We will not fail you,” they said.

Support from labor groups

Labor groups such as the Kapisanan ng mag Manggagawa sa GOCC [government- owned and-controlled corporations] at GFI [government financial institutions] (KAMAGGFI) and Bukluran ng mag manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), released statements in support to the PhilHealth-WHITE.

In their statement, KAMAGGFI reiterated the need for a qualified official to take charge.

“The federation re-echoes WHITE’s call for an in-depth investigation. Nevertheless, the federation strongly emphasizes the need to temporarily relieve PhilHealth’s top executive, including the Executive Committee (EXECOMM), and appoint a qualified caretaker for the time being,” they said.

KAMAGGFI elaborated three courses of action that they expect to take place.

Firstly, they sought to have Direct Contributors Director Dr. Jason Valdez speaking on PhilHealth’s workers behalf as a means to lobby concerns

Secondly, they wish to have a qualified member of the Direct Contributions sector to be appointed by the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG), who prioritizes the needs of their sector and abides to the Universal Health Care (UHC), or Republic Act 11223.

Thirdly, they request that the Commission on Audit (COA), the Civil Service Commission (CSC), and the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate and to provide a lasting solution to the situation.

On the importance of resolving the matter, KAMAGGFI said that corruption forces customers away, especially since the incident concerns the stakeholders’ own money.

“Corruption erodes the trust of PhilHealth’s paying stockholders, and it undermines the social contract of the government with its people, including the indirect contributors,” KAMAGGFI continued in their statement.

The BMP explained that the current issues surrounding the state-run health insurer should be taken into account, as the restrictions should be cut into a bare minimum. This was unlike Ricardo Morales who was appointed due to his track record, according to the union.

They reiterated that it is by legal accordance that the officer must have at least seven years of experience in the fields of health, management, finance, health economics, or a combination of any of them.

Napakalaking insulto sa amin na mabalitaan ang mga nabulgar na korapsyon sa PhilHealth (pati ang diumano’t sakit ng mga opisyal nito para makaiwas sa imbestigasyon ng senado). Iyan ay pera namin,” the group said.

They said that appointing and including the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque to the investigation committee is out of the question due to the lack of trust of the people on his credibility.

They ended the statements with their hope to reveal the corrupt executives for the betterment of PhilHealth and its paying members.

Crime of the year

The alleged manipulation of the investigation of the overpriced testing kits also came to light, when Keith told that morale instructed him to contact Greco Belgica, commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to ’massage’ the on-going investigation, which Morales denied.

After Keith, whistleblowers estimated the loss of P154 billion to various types of fraud, including ghost patients and upcasing common ailments.

When asked the names of the syndicate or ’mafia’ who manipulate the workflow inside PhilHealth, PhilHealth board member Alejandro Cabading mentioned PhilHealth Senior Vice President (SVP) for legal sector Rodolfo del Rosario, SVP for management services sector Dennis Mas, SVP for fund management sector Renator Limsiaco Jr. and corporate secretary Jonathan Mangaoang. Del Rosario strongly denied the accusation. [P]

In the midst of allegations of corruption and mismanagement within their agency, the PhilHealth Workers for Hope, Integrity, Transparency, and Empowerment (PhilHealth-WHITE) urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate further into the accusations.

These allegations came in light of former PhilHealth anti-fraud officer Thorrsson Montes Keith speaking about dubious practices taking place within the agency, in addition to reports suggesting that there have been questionable purchases in the process. Members of the executive committee, including PCEO BGe. Ricardo Morales was tagged as a suspect in the case.

In their statement, released last August 19, 2020, the union claimed that with three of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PhilHealth) executive officers on leave during the investigation, the union claimed that they sought a “caretaker” to guide them. Someone that they deem to be filled with both integrity and incorruptibility.

“But we need somebody at the helm to steer us at these uncertain times — both internally, in terms of operations; and externally, amid the scrutiny and prejudice of the public eye,” the union said.

The statement mentioned that, due to the controversies surrounding PhilHealth, PhilHealth-WHITE pleaded to the public and to government officials to cease branding all workers as equally corrupt. 

“While we understand the outburst, we appeal to a stop to all these sweeping accusations hurled at hardworking and honest PhilHealth workers,” they said while appealing to the public for aid in boosting the morale of the medical workers.

The union, however, swore that they will remain to serve the general public, despite the allegations.

“Rest assured that there will be no disruption of operation and we shall continue to serve all of you. We know that now, more than ever, you need PhilHealth. We will not fail you,” they said.

Support from labor groups

Labor groups such as the Kapisanan ng mag Manggagawa sa GOCC [government- owned and-controlled corporations] at GFI [government financial institutions] (KAMAGGFI) and Bukluran ng mag manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), released statements in support to the PhilHealth-WHITE.

In their statement, KAMAGGFI reiterated the need for a qualified official to take charge.

“The KAMAGGFI federation of workers stands in solidarity with the PhilHealth WHITE, as they also represent the paying PhilHealth members especially in the GOCC and GFI sector. The federation emphasized the need to relieve top executives and appoint a qualified caretaker,” they said.

KAMAGGFI elaborated three courses of action that they expect to take place.

Firstly, they sought to have Direct Contributors Director Dr. Jason Valdez speaking on PhilHealth’s workers behalf as a means to lobby concerns

Secondly, they wish to have a qualified member of the Direct Contributions sector to be appointed by the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG), who prioritizes the needs of their sector and abides to the Universal Health Care (UHC), or Republic Act 11223.

Thirdly, they request that the Commission on Audit (COA), the Civil Service Commission (CSC), and the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate and to provide a lasting solution to the situation.

On the importance of resolving the matter, KAMAGGFI said that corruption forces customers away, especially since the incident concerns the stakeholders’ own money.

“Corruption erodes the trust of PhilHealth’s paying stockholders, and it undermines the social contract of the government with its people, including the indirect contributors,” KAMAGGFI continued in their statement.

The BMP explained that the current issues surrounding the state-run health insurer should be taken into account, as the restrictions should be cut into a bare minimum. This was unlike Ricardo Morales who was appointed due to his track record, according to the union.

They reiterated that it is by legal accordance that the officer must have at least seven years of experience in the fields of health, management, finance, health economics, or a combination of any of them.

Napakalaking insulto sa amin na mabalitaan ang mga nabulgar na korapsyon sa PhilHealth (pati ang diumano’t sakit ng mga opisyal nito  para makaiwas sa imbestigasyon ng senado). Iyan ay pera namin,” the group said.

They said that appointing and including the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque to the investigation committee is out of the question due to the lack of trust of the people on his credibility.

They ended the statements with their hope to reveal the corrupt executives for the betterment of PhilHealth and its paying members.

Crime of the year

The alleged manipulation of the investigation of the overpriced testing kits also came to light, when Keith told that morale instructed him to contact Greco Belgica, commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to ’massage’ the on-going investigation, which Morales denied.

After Keith, whistleblowers estimated the loss of P154 billion to various types of fraud, including ghost patients and upcasing common ailments.

When asked the names of the syndicate or ’mafia’ who manipulate the workflow inside PhilHealth, PhilHealth board member Alejandro Cabading mentioned PhilHealth Senior Vice President (SVP) for legal sector Rodolfo del Rosario, SVP for management services sector Dennis Mas, SVP for fund management sector Renator Limsiaco Jr. and corporate secretary Jonathan Mangaoang. Del Rosario strongly denied the accusation. [P]

Photo from Rappler

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