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Ghost buster! Lapid files bill imposing higher fines on fake Philhealth patients, fake SSS, Pag-IBIG borrowers

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Senator Lito Lapid has filed a bill increasing the penalty for fraudulent claims from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Social Security System (SSS) and Pag-IBIG Fund.

This is in response to recent reported cases of “ghost patients” from PhilHealth, “ghost borrowers” of Pag-IBIG loans and bogus claimants of SSS benefits.

“Ang bawat sentimo na nananakaw mula sa pondo na nakalaan dapat para sa Universal Health Care, SSS at Pag-IBIG ay katumbas sa pagnanakaw na mismo mula sa mga mahihirap na sana’y benepisyaryo ng mga programang ito,” Lapid said.

Under Senate Bill No. 837, otherwise known as An Act Increasing the Penalty for Fraud Committed in Relation to the Mandatory Employee Contributions and Benefits, the penalty imposable for any member, real estate developer, health care provider or person, who shall cause the filing of a false or fraudulent claim for benefits or entitlements, shall be reclusion temporal or imprisonment for a period of 12 years and one day up to 20 years, to reclusion perpetua or imprisonment for 20 years and one day up to 40 years.

If the false or fraudulent claim is committed by a syndicate consisting of five or more persons, the imposable penalty shall be life imprisonment. Under this proposed measure, these violations will become non-bailable offenses.

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