Dead still in PhilHealth member list

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Dead still in PhilHealth member list
Individuals continue to avail services as face-to-face operations and transactions continue at the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) in Quezon City on Tuesday (September 26, 2023) amid recent cyber attack.
STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — About four to five million members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. were found to be already dead but still remain in its database, the PhilHealth president told the Senate yesterday.

During the public hearing of the Senate committee on science and technology being chaired and presided over by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. said the agency’s database is undergoing extensive cleaning after their system was hacked last week.

Ledesma said they need the help of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to fix their database for fear of using these names. He said about 92 percent of Filipinos are listed in PhilHealth.

“The thing with the PhilHealth, database is my understanding is we have to clean it up because I think there are around four to five million people who have already passed away. They have not been removed from the database,” he added.

Ledesma said he already asked the DICT and the Philippine Statistics Authority to help them in the cleaning of the PhilHealth database.

He noted that Filipinos can easily register with PhilHealth. “Now, what I want to mention also is that there’s this thing called ‘point of care’ that makes it very easy for an individual to become a member,” he said.

Cayetano conducted the public hearing anchored on the resolution of Sen. Mark Villar after around 13 to 20 million PhilHealth members’ names and information were leaked online following the recent cyberattack.

Villar filed Resolution No. 811 before the Senate directing the appropriate committee to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation over the cyberattack incident and all other attacks against government websites.

“It is high time that we strengthen our cyberspace security as we are dealing with private and delicate information that could endanger, not just of one institution, but of the general Filipino public,” Villar said.

“This attack is not just a big case of information theft. This is part of a massive attack against public health and welfare.”

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