Blue Ribbon invites Philhealth officials in hearing on state insurance anomaly

Maris Federez   •   August 6, 2019   •   1291

Senator Panfilo Lacson

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has set its hearing on the alleged anomaly in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) on Thursday (August 8).

In his privilege speech, Senator Panfilo Lacson revealed that Php153-Billion of Philhealth’s fund had gone to overpayments and fraud.

Lacson added that he had requested to send invitations to several Philhealth officials who can testify to the alleged anomaly in the state insurance agency.

“Mga regional senior vice presidents kasi [These are regional senior vice presidents because] many of the information that we got came from insiders from Philhealth themselves,” Lacson said.  (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

Michael Yang ‘no-show’ in Senate probe due to high blood pressure

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang was a ‘no-show’ during the continuation of the Senate probe on ‘overpriced’ medical supplies procured by the Department of Health (DOH).

Yang’s legal counsel Raymond Fortun on Monday (September 13) said that the doctor had advised Yang to take a rest after his blood pressure went up. Fortun also said he is prepared to submit a medical certificate as proof of Yang’s condition.

“His blood pressure had suddenly shot up. And for that reason, he was advised by his doctor to just stay home. Apparently, because of the proceedings, his health has been affected,” he said.

However, Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairperson Senator Richard Gordon said the Senate Committee will not give Yang a free pass.

“He can appear, he is not under pressure there, he is in Davao where he is comfortable, he can bring his doctor if he will and we want to see him. You know that always occurs when somebody’s under investigation they come in a wheelchair, show they picture that they cannot appear,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corporation director, Lincoln Ong, is still under house arrest since he is still recovering from COVID-19.

The Senate probe was opened after the Commission on Audit (COA) reported the DOH’s transfer of P42 billion funds to the Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for the procurement of face masks and face shields at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

Lacson, Sotto officially launch tandem for presidential, VP posts

Maris Federez   •   September 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, on Wednesday, officially launched their tandem on their bid for the presidential and vice-presidential posts in the 2022 National Elections.

The pre-taped campaign launch was attended by few family members, friends, former co-workers, and supporters who were tested for the coronavirus before the event. Other supporters joined the tandem via teleconference and taped testimonies.

Sotto took the stage first to signify his intention to be the country’s second in command.

“Ang inyo pong lingkod ay naririto para harapin ang hamon sa tamang panahon na maging kandidato ninyo sa pagka-pangalawang pangulo ng Republika ng Pilipinas,” Sotto said.

After raising national issues, such as poor economy, rising COVID-19 cases, corruption, and poverty, Sotto said the Filipinos have had enough.

“Tama na! Kailangan na nating tumugon! Kailangan na nating umaksyon! Kailangan na natin magsanib pwersa upang mapigilan at maitama ang mali. Ito na ang simula,” he said.

In his own speech, Lacson mentioned how President Rodrigo Duterte admitted in his final State of the Nation Address “that he was wrong to think that leading the country is simple and easy as leading Davao City.”

“Walang debate sa katotohanan. Hindi natin dapat payagan ang maling akala para sa kinabukasan ng ating bansa,” Lacson said.

Lacson stressed that the challenges that await the next administration are no joking matter and that they should be addressed with honest, dedicated, and competent public service.

“Mayroon kaming sapat na kakayahan, katapatan, at katapangan upang pamunuan ang ating bansa at upang muling bumangon sa ating pagkakalugmok,” he said.

Lacson and Sotto said they are gunning for “leadership by example.”

“Hindi sa salita kundi sa gawa. No leader can succeed if he cannot practice what he preaches,” Lacson said.

Lacson said they are in the process of crafting their platform of government that they want to present to the people.

“As we speak, we are in the process of drawing up a roadmap or a master plan that will serve as our platform of government that we intend to present to our people. After all, sa takdang panahon, kayo ang magdedesisyon kung karapat-dapat ba kaming pagkatiwalaan na mamuno sa ating bayan,” he said. —/mbmf

PhilHealth indefinitely halts circular suspending payment of claims

Marje Pelayo   •   August 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has put on hold indefinitely the implementation of a circular suspending payment of hospital claims.

On Sunday (August 29), the state health insurer announced that PhilHealth Circular No. 2021-0013 on the Temporary Suspension of Payment of Claims is suspended to address issues arising from the said issuance.

PhilHealth, however, commits its support to its anti-fraud program that is in full force to protect the National Health Insurance Fund.

The public is advised to send a text message to 09216300009 and receive a callback from PhilHealth’s Action Center for more information on developments about the matter.

Meanwhile, suggestions, comments, and feedback may also be sent to actioncenter@philhealth.gov.ph.

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