Bongbong Marcos said that the Department of Health and the Philippine Healthcare system officials must be trustworthy. This is ideally from top to bottom. However, whistleblowers implicate DOH Secretary Francisco Duque during the senate hearings. He may be the mafia king of the Philhealth scam. Transparency on their operations seems to be vague, Marcos observes. That alone made the country’s healthcare insufficient for the people’s needs.
The Philhealth Scam
The Philippine Healthcare system known as Philhealth is now on the hot seat because anomalies are found in various transactions. It’s a long chain of connivance. Bongbong Marcos calls it the nest of corruption because of the massive fraud. In one instance, the number of claims exceeds that of the number of in-patients in that specific area. So, the overcharging by more than a hundred can be worth millions of pesos.
Word Class Filipino Healthcare Professionals
The hospitals in the US and UK cannot function fully without the Filipino healthcare professionals there because of their great number. They are sought-after in many countries. Locally, the number is not enough. This is because of lack of compensation, said Marcos. The government must take care of and protect them. This is crucial especially during the pandemic to serve the people better. These healthcare workers need not go abroad if there are better opportunities here.
The Senators are Dismayed over Philhealth Interrogations
Philhealth Senior Vice President Chief Information Officer, Jovita Aragona faces the senators with Senator Imee Marcos on the lead recently. However, the interrogation went nowhere after the officials in question evade giving direct answers. This prompts the senator to speak in local dialects; Waray Waray? Negrense? with the officer-in-charge of fund management. She stresses the provisions of massive funds in Tacloban without known Coronavirus infection.
On the Blue COA Reporting
Senator Panfilo Lacson comments on COA’s disclaimer on Philhealth’s usual report adjustments. It looks like they made it look like revenues are on the blue with regards to OFW collections. Then, they get adjusted to the final reporting.
It System Anomalies
SVP Aragona defends the IT budget allocations by saying that the procurement stage made it difficult for her department to finish its programs. They can procure the hardware but the data software customization still needs a revamp. No real-time reporting, no IT Tax, cannot cope up with reports and no confirmations of the claimant’s status are some of the major problems. Complete listings of the responsible people with their corresponding tasks are one of Senator Marcos’ requests to further the investigation. This is on top of the breakdown of all the major spendings and short-term and long-term plans.
By: Elena Grace Flores
Some people might agree that Philippines is a poor country, where there’s no government welfare in place and no health system in store for the Filipino masses as portrayed in Manny Pacquiao’s documentary – but for sure, many can’t accept this. What about SSS, Philhealth and 4 Ps (Pangtawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) Assistance for the poorest of the poor – to name a few?
The Social Security System can be availed only when you are employed by accredited firms. Filipinos with ad hoc jobs in unregistered businesses can’t be a member of SSS of course – not unless you pay a voluntary subscription as self-employed. Philhealth covers 20 percent of medical bills when subscribed for at least 6 months at around 100 Pesos premium per month. There are anomalies also concerning the government assistance (4 Ps) because many families who are better off than their peers are beneficiaries of this assistance designed for people belonging to the less privilege smallest social unit of society.
Bottom line is, there’s financial support system in store for the citizens of the Philippines but due to corruption, people in remote places are not educated about these programs. On top of that, the funds allocated for these benefits are either misused by corrupt officials or unfairly distributed. If Philippines is really poor, why are there billions of taxes amassed by corrupt government officials? Poverty is all in the mind. Filipinos are rich with natural resources, culture and fighting spirit to be what want in this world of opportunities. If Manny Pacquiao can do it, why can’t others?