PhilHealth says it has money to pay PRC

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

October 22, 2020, 7:00 pm

MANILA – The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on Thursday said it will wait for the Department of Justice (DOJ) for proper legal guidance on how to proceed with its payment to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

In a statement, PhilHealth reiterated that it has funds to pay its obligations to the PRC.

“(PhilHealth) is requesting all those who have been affected by this issue for more patience and understanding as PhilHealth moves forward with this partnership with the proper legal support, all in aid of ensuring that members’ funds are properly handled and disbursed,” it added.

The corporation has PHP930 million overdue balance to the PRC.

Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Department of Health acknowledges the PRC’s contribution to the government’s efforts on Covid-19 testing.

“We cannot deny the fact that the Philippine Red Cross has a big contribution to our daily outputs or the outputs of our laboratories,” she said in a mix of Filipino and English during a virtual media forum.

Vergeire confirmed that the government’s Covid-19 testing initiatives were also affected when the PRC stopped its operations.

She added that the DOH already requested the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital, the Las Pinas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center, the Lung Center of the Philippines, the Ospital ng Imus, the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory, and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and San Lazaro Hospital to process the specimens previously assigned to the PRC.

"There were private laboratories, which already expressed their interest, that they will help to alleviate the bottlenecks caused by the stoppage of the operation of the Philippine Red Cross," Vergeire said in a mix of Filipino and English. (PNA