‘Namatay Na, Naningil Pa!’ Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Hearing on DOH, PhilHealth Corruption

At the hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, Sen. Lacson questioned irregularities at the DOH and PhilHealth, including:
* conflict of interest
* toll manufacturing agreements entered into by Duque family-owned Doctors Pharmaceuticals Inc. and firms not accredited to deal with the DOH
* under-support payments
* collections for dead patients

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Quotes from the hearing:

On conflict of interest:

“Hindi ako abogado pero kung nagkasundo ang dalawang parties, Secretary of Health na ang kapatid natin, baka pwede itigil natin ang business with DOH dahil may issue ng conflict of interest. Rightly or wrongly we don’t need rocket science to even suspect there’s really conflict of interest. Kasi SOH, pagkatapos ang negosyo nyo mag-supply ng gamot sa DOH. Di po ba napakaliwanag niyan mas maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw na talagang may conflict of interest?”

“Tulad ng ginawa nyo sa EMDC mabuti na rin at napagkaisahan nyo hanggang Dec 2019. Kung sa ibang tao po yun at talagang tumitingin sa nakasaad sa ating batas, the moment na pag-upo niya as SOH at ex oficio chair, mag-usap na sana ang 2 partido i-terminate na natin ASAP kasi hindi nararapat. Base sa code of conduct and ethical standards. Kasi more than any person in this room siguro mas ma-appreciate ni Sec Duque ang RA 6713 kasi dati siya CSC chairman. At katunayan binanggit ko sa aking privilege speech, quote ko ang portion ng kanyang speech, pag nasa gobyerno mataas dapat ang standard.”

On DPI toll manufacturing agreements:

“Dahil hindi sila accredited, hindi sila makapag-deal directly with DOH; dahil kayo accredited kayo makikipag-deal with DOH?”

On under-support payments:

“Nakikita namin ang overpayment galing sa COA, we don’t see records of underpayment. What you refer to as underpayment, under support value? Ibig sabihin nito, hindi nawawalan ang ospital, ang nawawalan ang pasyente dahil sila nag-aabono, kasi under-valued? It is not really underpayment or under-support value payment, the difference will be shouldered by the PhilHealth member.”

“Namatay na, naningil pa.”

“May nangyari na namatay na naningil pa. (Sabi ng) COA, patay na, in-admit pa. (There were) 961 cases amounting to P20.3M; (namatay na ang) members, pero nakasingil pa uli ng P20.3M.”

On harassment of whistleblowers:

“Sila napaparusahan, ang iba nasususpindi. How do you address the problem? Sino magre-report kung hina-harass ang nagre-report?”

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