PhilHealth Workers Call for 'Caretaker' to Head Agency Amidst Corrpution Allegations

The agency's employees have spoken.
Photo/s: PhilHealth

The past few days have been anything but a good look for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation.

Earlier this week, officials of the embattled state-run insurance agency were accused by PhilHealth anti-fraud officer Thorrsson Montes Keith of embezzling up to P15 billion through anomalous deals, including procurement of overpriced computer equipment. Since then, an investigation into the agency has been opened and a handful of high-ranking PhilHealth higher-ups have either resigned or stepped back due to medical reasons.

Now, the agency's rank-and-file employees are speaking up.

In a statement, PhilHealth worker's group PhilHealth Workers for Hope, Integrity, Transparency, and Empowerment (WHITE) welcomed the formation of an investigating body and asked President Rodrigo Duterte to appoint a "caretaker" to head the agency after two of its most senior officials—CEO Ricardo Morales and executive vice president and COO Arnel De Jesus—took a leave of absence.

"With the leave of absence of two of our most senior officers, and the resignation of one, we nonetheless call for President Rodrigo Duterte to put in charge a caretaker who is an expert in the field of health insurance with proven integrity and incorruptibility," PhilHealth WHITE's statement reads.


"By doing so, all doubts about whitewashing and cover-up would be dispelled, and we would, therefore, be ensured of a fair and honest investigation that will weed out the guilty, and not simply hang scapegoats."

Among the issues the worker's group hopes to be addressed are accusations of overpricing, manipulation of financial statements, incompetence, theft of government funds, and neglecting the agency's finances.

Do you think placing someone else in charge will help PhilHealth address and move past long-running issues of corruption? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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