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Di pwedeng mag-advance! Dick could be liable over Philhealth’s P100-M payment to PH Red Cross

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Senator Richard Gordon could be held liable over the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (Philhealth’s) P100-million advance payment to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to conduct COVID-19 tests, sources told Politiko.

Politiko’s sources said there was no basis for Philhealth’s payment since PRC, which is chaired by Gordon, was not a hospital or medical facility accredited by the state health insurer.

“Clearly, Philhealth being the national health insurance agency has no business granting PRC any cash advances, whether related to the pandemic or for other purposes. Thus, the cash advances or payments made to PRC are all void and illegal,” a source said.

According to an audit report obtained by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the payment advanced by Philhealth to PRC came from the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM), a scheme which allowed for money to be disbursed to hospitals ahead of any medical procedure done for patients.

Sources said it was illegal for Philhealth to advance payments to any organization– even if it was for a noteworthy reason– because it can only pay for or reimburse accredited hospitals for actual medical expenses.

They said those involved in the deal between Philhealth and PRC could face life imprisonment for each amount released or malversed in excess of P8.8 million in accordance with Section 40 of Republic Act 10951.

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