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PhilHealth legal arm’s poor prosecution record decried

THE Task Force PhilHealth yesterday lamented the low and slow rate of prosecution of cases involving alleged irregularities in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.

During the resumption of hearings at the Department of Justice, the Task Force noted the thousands of cases against erring PhilHealth employees and health care institutions (HCIs) which remain unfiled.

Resigned Senior Vice President for the Legal Sector Atty. Rodolfo Del Rosario, Jr. confirmed that while there are thousands of administrative cases against PhilHealth employees in the corporation’s case inventory, only 70 cases have been “processed,” and only 50 have resulted in the issuance of formal charges against employees.

Del Rosario likewise reported that there are around 1,700 cases in PhilHealth’s case inventory involving HCIs.  According to him, his office has reviewed and endorsed 1,003 cases for filing of criminal complaints by the regional offices.

However, he admitted that only 11 cases as of date have been filed.  Losses related to cases involving HCIs — which include fraudulent claims — were estimated at around P4.7 billion.

The Governance Commission for Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations previously gave the PhilHealth Legal Sector zero rating in its 2017 and 2018 evaluations because of delays in the filing of cases.

Pressed to account for the Legal Sector’s performance, Del Rosario explained that management policy favored settlement over prosecution of cases so as not to dampen esprit de corps.  He also noted alleged limitations in resources of regional offices that prevent them from promptly filing criminal complaints against HCIs.

The Task Force has created a composite team that will investigate PhilHealth’s Legal Department. The team will, among others, audit and validate the case inventory of PhilHealth, and recommend, if warranted, the commencement of  administrative, civil and/or criminal action against the corporation’s employees and HCIs.

Publication Source :    People's Journal
Hector Lawas
Court reporter for more than 20 years