De Lima seeks Senate probe into PhilHealth’s P5-B net loss

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has expressed concern over the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)’s poor financial performance and its sustainability to provide its mandated services to the public in the coming years.

De Lima filed Senate Resolution (SR) No. 840 directing the Senate Committees on Health and Demography and on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development to investigate the ₱4.75-billion net loss incurred by the PhilHealth in 2017 alone.

“It is imperative that government continues to deliver an effective health insurance program and social protection mitigating mechanisms helping individuals and their households reduce the impact of future risky events, such as illnesses,” she said.

In its 2017 audit report, the Commission on Audit (COA) found out that PhilHealth has incurred a net loss of ₱4.75 billion in 2017, which negatively affects the efficient implementation of its programs and projects.

Based on COA report, PhilHealth has registered a negative P3.905 billion gross margin from operations, resulting in operating losses worth P10.489 billion.

Aside from the huge loss, PhilHealth was also unable to avail of the government’s P37.06 billion allocation for indigent’s premium contribution, which was targeted to be the agency’s third major source of income in 2017.

“There is a need to determine the root cause of the incurred losses as well as the possible accountability of the PhilHealth leadership,” the Senator from Bicol stressed.

“The fiscal solvency of PhilHealth is paramount for the meaningful implementation of the National Health Insurance Program and the Government’s objective of progressively providing a universal health program for all Filipinos.

“Hence, financial deficits and continued profit loss shall significantly affect the National Health Insurance Fund and reserve fund,” she said.

The National Insurance Program is part of the Government’s Social Protection framework and strategy designed in such a way that beneficiaries pay a premium over a given period of time to cover or protect them from illness and other enumerated risks.

De Lima said there is also a need to establish a roadmap towards financial stability to ensure that PhilHealth will be sufficiently solvent to address the needs of its members.

Despite being detained on false charges of illegal drug trading and later changed to conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading based on fabricated evidence and perjured testimonies of convicted felons, De Lima continues to file meaningful bills and resolutions that will benefit the public, especially the vulnerable sectors of society.

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