PhilHealth chief claims 'enough' funds for the year, 92% of missing ₱15B already liquidated

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The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation has "enough" money for the year, with the liquidation of the controversial ₱15 billion fund nearing completion, President and CEO Dante Gierran says. FILE PHOTO

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 26) — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation has "enough" money for the year, with the liquidation of the controversial ₱15 billion fund nearing completion, its president said Tuesday.

In a media briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday, PhilHealth President and CEO Dante Gierran downplayed claims that the said fund was missing in the first place.

"Sa totoo lang po, hindi nawawala, nandyan lang. On record po, ang utos ng Senado tsaka ng lower House, sabi i-liquidate. Sa ngayon po, 92% na ang liquidated. Kakaunti na lang po," he said.

[Translation: In fact, it's not missing, it's just there. On record, the Senate and the lower House previously instructed us to liquidate it. Now, 92% of the fund is liquidated. We're almost done.]

Gierran then stressed that he would not have allowed the people's money to be stolen, what with his track record as former director of the National Bureau of Investigation.

He also assured that PhilHealth has enough money to continue its operations despite the pandemic, as contributions of members continue to pour in.

"Kung PhilHealth lang po, we have money. As a matter of fact, sige-sige naman po ang ating collections. May collections naman tayo," he added.

[Translation: With PhilHealth, we have money. As a matter of face, our collections are ongoing. We still have collections.]

Gierran said that the agency has a reserve fund of ₱132 billion, should they face difficulties with collecting contributions this year.

He added that they continue to process the agency's ₱300 million remaining debt to the Philippine Red Cross, along with other delayed claims to healthcare providers.

"Ang natira na lang something like ₱300 million. Our history of payment is klaro. Sige-sige lang ang bayad natin basta lang matapos ang validation ng test," he said, adding that ₱100 million was paid in advanced by Philhealth to Red Cross during the time of Morales.

[Our remaining debt is something P300 million. Our history of payment is clear. Our payment continues a long as validation of the tests are finished]

The state health insurer previously drew flak after one of its former officers claimed in August 2020 that "mafia members" within the agency stole some ₱15 billion through various fraudulent schemes.

READ: Whistleblower claims ₱15 billion stolen by PhilHealth execs in fraud schemes 

The controversy prompted government authorities to file criminal and administrative charges against then PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales and other executives for alleged corruption.