THE SENATE Committee of the Whole chaired by Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III has recommended filing of administrative and criminal cases against resigned and current officers of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) due to irregularities.
The Committee has investigated five major issues against Philhealth including the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM); the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) project as an anatomy of corruption; the Philhealth financial status specifically the alleged manipulation of financial statements; irregularities in the Legal Sector and the B.Braun Avitum Dialysis Centers.
Among the recommendations listed by the committee was the filing of violations of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who is the chairman of the board of Philhealth; former Philhealth President and Chief Executive Officer Ricardo Morales; Atty. Rodolfo del Rosario Jr., Senior Vice President for Legal Sector; Ms. Jovita Aragona, Senior Vice President for Information Management Sector; Mr. Calixto Gabuya Jr., Acting Senior Manager, IT and Management Department; Arnel de Jesus, Executive Vice President and COO; Renato Limsiaco Jr. Senior Vice President for Fund management sector; and Israel Francis Pargas, Senior Vice President for Health Finance Policy.
The committee also recommended filing of additional cases of malversation of public funds, illegal use of public funds and violation of the National Internal Revenue Code against Duque, Morales, de Jesus, Limsiaco and Pargas.
A violation of the Revised Penal Code specifically on negligence and tolerance was also recommended to be filed against del Rosario while falsification, fraud against public treasury, removal concealment or destruction of documents and violation of the government procurement act are recommended to be filed against Aragona and Gabuya.
Aside from criminal charges, the Committee asked the Department of Justice and the Ombudsman to file administrative cases against the said officials.
The Committee also recommended some reforms to the Philhealth, Depatment of Budget and Management an the Governance Commission for GOCC in order to avoid irregularities in the future.