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Another case mulled vs. PhilHealth over ‘IT anomaly’

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will be facing another complaint for alleged anomalies involving its information technology unit, according to lawyer Harry Roque on Friday.

"Mayroon pa po kaming isang isasampa. Ito pong last case na isasampa namin ito naman 'yung anomalya sa IT department ng PhilHealth na binayad ng mga kumpanya ang hundreds of millions para sa premiums, may transaksyong pumasok pero hindi nakapasok doon mismo sa pondo ng Philhealth," Roque said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

He added the anomaly involves "hundreds of millions" in pesos and at least two big companies.

"Sa kanilang record ay pumasok pero pagdating doon sa bank account ng PhilHealth ay wala namang pumasok at napunta sa ibang account," Roque said.

The former presidential spokesperson underscored that filing a case would help trace the paper trail and figure out where the "missing" money went to.

Roque and former PhilHealth employee Ken Sarmiento on Wednesday filed a graft complaint against PhilHealth officials over their alleged failure to act on a scam involving issuance of fake Philhealth premium receipts to OFWs.

But contrary to the claim of Sarmiento, PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Ricardo Morales said that only P1.2 million and not P16 million were lost due to the said scam.

Morales added that the state insurer was already able to recover P430,000 from the manning agencies responsible for issuing fake PhilHealth premium receipts and the balance is in various stages of recovery.

Aside from the fake receipts scam, the PhilHealth also got entangled with the "ghost dialysis" controversy last year wherein WellMed Dialysis Center allegedly raked in payments on behalf of already deceased patients.

Graft charges were filed by the National Bureau of Investigation against 21 officials and employees of PhilHealth for their alleged involvement.

The two whistleblowers, however, got arrested along with one of the owners of the dialysis clinic for estafa.

Roque said corrupt officials of PhilHealth must be put to justice as healthcare services may be compromised due to the alleged corruption.

"Mantakin mo, ang estimate na kakulangan sa pondo ng universal health care na isinulong sa Kongreso ay P170 billion pero 'yung estimate na nawawala sa atin [sa PhilHealth] ay nasa P152 billion," he said.

"Kaya nga hindi namin ititigil ang pagsampa ng mga kaso laban sa mga anomalya diyan sa PhilHealth dahil importante na magamit natin ang pondo ng Philhealth para sa libreng gamot at libreng paggamot," he added. — RSJ, GMA News