PhilHealth should be abolished immediately
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - August 10, 2020 - 12:00am

The greatest burden being carried by millions of employees and employers today, at the height of a health and economic crisis, is PhilHealth, and this colossal white elephant, highly infected with the corrosive corruption virus, is beyond rehabilitation anymore. It should be abolished immediately.

PhilHealth officials have betrayed the trust of the Filipino people. If they have a sense of “delicadeza” or even a little sense of dignity and self-respect, they should resign immediately. According to Philippine Anti-Corruption Commissioner Greco Belgica, at least 13 of 36 officials being investigated have airtight cases against them. It seems that the system has been extremely infected with the worst kind of corruption virus. The organization is beyond repair, it should be totally destroyed. The assets should be liquidated and Congress should rethink how to implement the Universal Healthcare Law.

Billions of PhilHealth contributions are remitted to this gargantuan bureaucracy every month. Millions of employers and employees are required by law to contribute to this huge disgrace of an agency. And yet, millions of collectibles by private hospitals are not being paid for a number of months and even years. And yet, a number of small and remote hospitals in some unknown outlying areas have received huge amounts in cash advances, and are in questionable state of not being liquidated in accordance with COA regulations and generally-accepted accounting and auditing procedures.

PhilHealth is a giant bureaucracy with too many senior vice presidents, more than 20 vice presidents, and hundreds of senior managers. They are paid shockingly outrageous salaries, allowances and perks, privileges, and benefits, while the nation is suffering under a very pervasive health crisis and a devastating economic crisis. While the people are hungry and struggling to survive under very difficult situations, some irresponsible, greedy, and lecherous officials running this agency are getting outlandish compensation packages that are not commensurate to their endemic inefficiencies, ineptitude and lack of decency.

The next target of investigations should be the SSS, the Employees Compensation Commission, and even the Department of Health itself. The trillions of money borrowed to assist the people in combating the COVID-19 virus should be fully accounted for. The SSS should be made to explain how many vice presidents, senior vice presidents, and senior managers they have and how much in the way of salaries and perks these very lucky people are receiving and how many claims filed by workers have been denied without reason or rhyme.

The ECC should also be made to explain why it is always denying thousands of claims when the money they are too zealously holding on to belongs to the people, as they are from the employers' contributions. In these times of crisis, we need to clean the Philippine bureaucracy and rid it of too many leeches, pests and viruses.

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