Guevarra says Task Force PhilHealth recommended reorganization, not abolition
This undated photo shows Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.
The STAR/Edd Gumban, file
Guevarra says Task Force PhilHealth recommended reorganization, not abolition
( - September 30, 2020 - 4:23pm

 MANILA, Philippines — “Task Force PhilHealth” led by the Department of Justice recommend the reorganization of the state insurer, not its abolition,, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Wednesday.

“In our report to the president, we recommended that the GCG (Governance Commission for GOCCs) be directed to study the possible reorganization of PhilHealth (not its abolition) and the creation of an interim management committee in the meantime,” Guevarra told reporters.

The DOJ chief led the inter-agency task force that looked into corruption allegations surrounding the state insurer. On September 14, they submitted recommendations to the president, which included filing of complaints against key officials of PhilHealth.

READ: Cheat sheet on Task Force PhilHealth's fact-finding probe, complaints to be filed

Guevarra earlier said that in their investigation, they hope that the Governance Commission for GOCCs or Government Owned and Controlled Corporations can make proposals for the reorganization of PhilHealth, whether partial or total.

But Duterte, in an address aired on Monday, said he wants PhilHealth either abolished or revamped, saying reforms cannot be implemented if officials who are already entrenched in the system remains in their posts.

Guevarra, however, noted that “it is not really very clear whether he wants to reorganize, abolish or privatize PhilHealth.”

He also noted that the abolition or privatization of PhilHealth would need action from the Congress

In his public address, Duterte said he wants to “reorganize and impose upon them a single line of authority” at PhilHealth. In the same speech, Duterte also said that he is going to the Congress to propose the abolition of the state insurer.

He also cited the need to change PhilHealth’s structure, claiming the present system no longer works.

“Create a new agency out of that—out of the ruins of that old one... We can’t allow people who are already entrenched to remain. Nothing will happen. Either I’m going to revamp, consider everybody resigned there and if there’s structure, we can slowly... disband... I mean as simple as it could ever be. That’s what I mean,” the president said.

Composite teams created by the Task Force PhilHealth continue conducting deeper probes into PhilHealth beyond the 30 days given to the panel. Guevarra had earlier said that more complaints may be filed by after the investigations of these teams are done.  — Kristine Joy Patag with report from The STAR/Alexis Romero

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