Tag: OWWA

Apela ni Ping sa IATF: Kaunting Kaluwagan sa mga OFW, Balikbayan

Sen. Ping Lacson at the Senate Committee of the Whole hearing on June 15, 2021

Umaapela si Senador Panfilo Lacson sa Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) ng kahit na kaunting pagluluwag lamang sa pagpapatupad ng health protocols sa mga dumarating na balikbayan at overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Ito ay sa harap ng katotohanang kailangang gumastos nang malaki ang mga balikbayan sa pagsasailalim sa mga proseso, kasama ang pananatili ng ilang araw na “quarantine” sa mga hotel.

“Find the middle ground. We cannot be too stiff, too stringent. May occasion dapat na flexible tayo,” banggit ni Lacson sa pagdinig ng Senate Committee of the Whole sa COVID-19 vaccination program ng pamahalaan.

Related: Lacson to IATF: Find ‘Middle Ground’ for Balikbayans, Returning Residents
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Lacson to IATF: Find ‘Middle Ground’ for Balikbayans, Returning Residents

Sen. Ping Lacson at the Senate Committee of the Whole hearing on June 15, 2021

Small adjustments by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) in implementing health protocols can be a big help to our balikbayans and returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

This is because balikbayans have had to spend thousands of pesos and suffer much inconvenience including several days’ “quarantine” at a hotel, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson and Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III said.

“Find the middle ground. We cannot be too stiff, too stringent. May occasion dapat na flexible tayo (There are times we should be flexible),” Lacson said at the hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole on the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program Tuesday.

Related: Apela ni Ping sa IATF: Kaunting Kaluwagan sa mga OFW, Balikbayan
Continue reading “Lacson to IATF: Find ‘Middle Ground’ for Balikbayans, Returning Residents”

What Filipinos Deserve: A Corruption-Free PhilHealth, a Competent DOH Secretary

In 2004, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III was PhilHealth president when it illegally diverted P500 million in OWWA Medicare funds to buy PhilHealth cards bearing ex-President and then presidential candidate Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s picture with the acronym GMA (Greater Medical Access) and GMA Para sa Masa, Para sa Lahat. The cards were distributed to areas where they knew they would lose against the late Fernando Poe Jr.

After her 2004 “victory,” Mrs. Arroyo rewarded PhilHealth president Duque with an appointment as DOH Secretary.

Fast forward to 2020, where under new PCEO Ricardo Morales – and Duque as ex-officio chairman – PhilHealth tried to collect premiums from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), notwithstanding their classification as a special sector. This amid a flawed if not perverted implementation of its Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) for health care institutions handling COVID-19 cases, gross overpricing in its procurement of IT equipment, and the doctoring of its financial statements.

The President’s trust and confidence notwithstanding, Filipinos don’t deserve a state health insurance that is so corrupt, made possible by officials entrusted with mandatory monthly deductions from hard-earned salaries of ordinary employees.

As for Sec. Duque, he has stayed too long in the DOH and PhilHealth in different capacities. He admitted in a public hearing that he has given his best but it wasn’t good enough.

More than public interest, public health is imperiled with Sec. Duque at the helm of DOH. Notwithstanding the trust and confidence reposed on him by the appointing authority, Filipinos deserve a good, competent, honest and capable DOH Secretary.

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