President Rodrigo R. Duterte (PRRD) showed disappointment over the P154 billion lost by Philhealth due to fraudulent transactions and overpayments between 2013 and 2018. On June 10, 2019, one of the owners of Wellmed Dialysis Center was arrested by NBI as ordered by the President. PRRD also requested Philhealth chief and board members to volunteer resignation.
Bryan Christopher Sy of WellMed Dialysis Center, who submitted himself to NBI on Monday, had been detained for inquest proceedings based on the complaints filed by Philhealth and Wellmed former employees. Sy allegedly took advantage of Philhealth’s flaws in their payment system and asked his two former employees to forge the signatures of “ghost” patients on Philhealth’s claim forms.
Edwin Roberto and Liezel Santos, WellMed former employees cum whistleblowers, were also charged in court for falsification of documents and estafa. According to an NBI agent, this step is necessary so that the two employees could be considered as state witnesses.
Lack Of Warrant
Head of NBI’s anti-graft division, Nathaniel Ramos, said that the arrest was based on the philosophy of continuous crime. According to a Philhealth insider, there were still dialysis claims processed and still pending until June of this year. Moreover, NBI found a “probable cause” when they verified the documents submitted by Philhealth including forged claim forms.
Need For Reorganization
PRRD felt an urgent need to reorganize Philhealth’s accounting system and accountability. Although he does not have any doubts about the integrity of Philhealth president, Dr. Roy Ferrer, still it is a command responsibility.
Suspension of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law was recommended by the President until a trustworthy official will be appointed and tasked to strictly manage Philhealth’s funds.