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PhilHealth paid Red Cross P123M in balances but recent claims still being processed

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) on Monday said it has already settled around P123 million of its balances to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), although there are claims that they have yet to pay as they were submitted only recently.

PhilHealth vice president Oscar Abadu made the remark after Senator Richard Gordon, who also serves as chairman and CEO of PRC, said they would discontinue conducting COVID-19 tests to those whose payments will be charged to PhilHealth until it pays its balances.

"We have already paid last Tuesday around P123 million. However, they submitted a new list of billing since Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and that is the claim for the P714 million," Abadu said during the House joint panel hearing on the alleged irregularities in PhilHealth.

"Kaka-receive pa lang kasi namin and so we cannot process immediately while it was just submitted three, four days ago," he added.

In his statement on Sunday, Gordon said PhilHealth's failure to settle its balances will prevent the PRC from being able to order the test kits it needs to replenish its supplies. Hence, the organization will be forced to stop its operations in its testing center in Manila.

At the same time, the PRC will not be able to open its newly-constructed laboratories in Bacolod, Zamboanga, and Cagayan De Oro City, he added.

“How can we operate if we do not have enough test kits and we do not have money to pay our med techs and other staff?" Gordon said.

"We have been totally cooperative in all aspects but we cannot afford to continue if the government, particularly PhilHealth, continues to fail to pay for their lawful obligations,” he added.

Despite the issue with PhilHealth, Gordon said PRC will still accommodate individuals who want to get tested for COVID-19 and will pay for their swab tests. —KG, GMA News