Sen. Panfilo Lacson stated that Hilippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) suffered a net operating loss of P29.1 billion in 2013-2017 owing to fraudulent claims for benefits and other misdeeds by senior health authorities.
Lacson stated audit reports from the Commission on Audit (COA) showed that overpayments and comparable schemes implemented by corrupt PhilHealth authorities could have defrauded as much as P154 billion from the state insurance business, leaving it blinding dry.
He also quoted supposedly uneven contracts entered into by the Department of Health (DOH), including at least five supply agreements with a pharmaceutical company owned by the Francisco Duque III family of Health Secretary.
The senator reiterated that the supply contracts granted to Doctors Pharmaceuticals Inc. (DPI) were in breach of the law banning conflict of interest between government authorities as two of these agreements continued until December 2017, or nearly two months after President Duterte appointed Duque to head the DOH.
Duque claimed that he had not interfered with DPI affairs and activities because 13 years ago he had divested himself of his stake in the business.
He rejected any misconduct in DPI’s agreements with the DOH as they were signed during his predecessor’s term, Paulyn Ubial.
As for the contract package that coincided with his position as Health Chief in November 2017 (December 2016 to December 2017), Duque said he could not just terminate it, as doing so could have legal consequences.
Duque said he was prepared to sit down with Lacson to discuss his issues, but stated that he had already made to no avail efforts in the past.