No qualification needed! Davao tech firm bags deal to create Philhealth app
By Nancy Carvajal
A Davao City-based tech company was allegedly favored to create the web application of Philhealth despite possible violation in the Universal Health Care Act and its lack of basic requirements to implement the project, according to sources and documents obtained by Politiko.
HiDok Inc. a start- up tech company that offers clinic appointment through an app is owned by individuals who supposedly has connections with the “Mindanao group’’ in Philhealth, according to an insider.
Minutes of meetings, memorandum from various department and communications between Philhealth president Ricardo Morales and Hidok Chief Executive Officer Melvin Cabatbat Jr were obtained by Politiko.
In a letter of Morales , dated Sept. 25 where he informed HiDok of the approval of their proposal through the Public- private partnership or PPP, he mentioned of possible violation of the UHC and Data Privacy Act of HiDok, as a third party.
“We also would like to inform you also that in the Republic Act No 11223, otherwise known as the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act, Philhealth is clearly specified as the repository of health and health –related data. Concerning your proposed HiDok common platform, its implementation should not be in any way, in violation of the UHC Act as well as the Data Privacy Act.’’ Morales said.
The minutes of the meetings also discussed the HiDok inadequacies to implement the project and in some cases a duplication of the state insurer’s current system.
Among the loopholes listed by the evaluation team in the Hidok project proposal were;
· The proposal did not present clients where solutions have been used.
· Not functional.
· It has no existing data built on insurance validation needed by Philhealth.
· Is raising funds to finance the creation of their prototype
But still, on Oct. 4, 2019, in less than a month after its offer to build the Philhealth app, HiDok was endorsed to the Public –Private (PPP) Steering Committee by the office of the International and Local Engagement Department supposedly on the order of Morales.
On Sept. 7, and 18, 2019 HiDok Inc.,submitted its proposal to build the software web application of Philhealth that “ aims to connect stakeholders within and outside the healthcare sector.’’
Also,in the minutes of the meeting it was stated that board member Alejandro Cabading was the one who brought the tech company to Philhealth.
Another document also showed that the first letter of offer by Hidok was sent through Cabading.
According to an insider, the Hidok proposal was silently opposed by members of the evaluation team, but because the order came “from the above, we have to follow.’’