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The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is standing by its memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) for COVID-19 testing.

PRC in a statement Monday (September 21) refuted the allegation of Senator Leila De Lima that the deal between the organization and Philhealth was illegal.

The lawmaker had asked that her colleague, Senator Richard Gordon, be investigated over the MOA as PRC’s chairman.

“There is no conflict of interest in Sen. Gordon’s situation, and (iii) the disinformation being spread about the Philippine Red Cross and Chairman Gordon are totally baseless and merely meant to besmirch our reputation,” PRC said.

The non-profit group said transactions under the MOA are exempted from Republic Act No. 9184, of the Government Procurement Reform Act. The organization is also authorized to partner with the government for COVID-19 response under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

“From a pragmatic point of view, and in light of pandemic, the name of the game is speed and capacity. It would be ludicrous for the PRC to have to wait to get paid before it can purchase more testing kits, which is the primary reason for the revolving fund,” PRC said.

The group said the P100 million advanced by Philhealth to PRC was a one-time payment. The state-run insurer also has an unsettled obligation of P500 million to the organization, it added.

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