Duque supports PhilHealth investigation: ‘I am for zero tolerance on fraud and corruption"

Photo courtesy of Rappler

Secretary Francisco Duque III of the Department of Health (DOH) said on Tuesday that he supports “zero tolerance” on the issue of fraud and corruption amid allegations that he has kept his silence on the alleged rampant corruption in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

In an article by The Manila Times, the health secretary, who is also happens to be the chairman of the board of Philhealth, attended the continuation of the Senate’s investigation on the reported irregularities in the state-run insurer thru videoconferencing.

Duque told the Senate Committee of the Whole that PhilHealth “is a program close to my heart because its precursor,  Medicare, was the brainchild of my late father former Secretary of Health Francisco Duque.”

“My commitment to safeguarding the sustainability of the fund is very personal,” Duque added.

“I would like to state for the record that I am for zero tolerance on fraud and corruption,” Duque emphasized.

Duque  recalled that in his first year as PhilHealth president and chief executive officer in 2001, he asked the National Bureau of Investigation to look into cases “in aid of fraud prevention.”

He also stressed that as chairman of PhilHealth from 2005 to 2009, he “created task force Kisap Mata to scrutinize or verify claims on cataract-related cases and to conduct investigations where alarming claims utilizations were noted.”

In fact, the board at that time also partnered with Philippine Academy of Opthalmology to check alleged fraudulent cataract claims. “This led to the filing of at least 3,000 cases against erring providers,” he continued.

“When I returned as chairman of the board in 2017 I discovered that these cases were archived for failure to serve legal processes to the eye centers so I directed management to exert every effort to reinstate those cases and pursue them vigorously,” Duque mentioned.

“In my current stint as chairman of the PhilHealth board we approved the recommendation of the health insurance data analytics committee or HIDAC to resolve significant weaknesses in PhilHealth operations based on data-driven reports,” he said.

Also present during the Senate inquiry was the six  PhilHealth regional vice presidents (VPs), who have gone on leave of absence effective August 17, were also virtually present to clarify on the reported anomalies in the agency.

These were the VPs present during the video conferencing, namely: Paolo Johann Perez (Mimaropa), Valerie Anne Hollero (Western Visayas), Datu Masiding Alonto Jr. (Northern Mindanao), Khaliquzzman Macabato (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), Dennis Adre and William Chavez.

They decided to go on leave to give the investigators a “free hand” in the inquiry.

Post a Comment