PhilHealth billions irretrievably gone?
In the report, “Palace: Gov’t won’t allow PhilHealth to go bankrupt” (8/7/20), presidential spinmeister Harry Roque tried to make the nation believe that as “the principal author of the Universal Healthcare in the Lower House, that will not happen… PhilHealth is guaranteed by the government”—as if bragging about his big role in crafting that law gave his statement any credence worth taking to the bank. Roque is practically saying, “No worries, we got this!” The guy never ceases to talk tongue-in-cheek or just downright tommyrot.
Mr. Duterte’s point man in PhilHealth, retired Brig. Gen. Ricardo Morales, admitted he could not find where the P154 billion had gone (“PhilHealth’s P154 billion loss still not found, remains ‘unsubstantiated’—Morales,” 6/19/20). The “perfect crime” seems to be nothing else but an “inside job,” with many in PhilHealth being in on the scam and its cover-up. Those billions are now irretrievably gone for all intents and purposes. Despite being also “inutil” at his job, Morales continues to enjoy Mr. Duterte’s trust and confidence in his competence.
Tens of thousands have already been infected with COVID-19 in this country and desperately needing medical attention and care. So, how is the Duterte administration to make good on that PhilHealth “guarantee”? With all the expenses to deal with the China-spawned pandemic almost bankrupting it already, where is the government going to get the funds to tide PhilHealth over? More loans in the tens of billions on top of the trillions it already owes China? What more “collateral” can Mr. Duterte offer China? Another quitclaim over the rest of the territories within the so-called “nine-dash line” in the West Philippine Sea which the Permanent Court of Arbitration has rejected as nothing but a Chinese fantasy?
Arnulfo M. Edralin
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