Firing of Philhealth OIC welcomed

y Rose de la Cruz

 

Rep. Milagros Aquino-Magsaysay today welcomed the firing by President Duterte of the officer in charge of Philhealth in view of reports that it had “miserably failed on its commitment and mandate to the senior citizens law.”

 

Aquino-Magsaysay of the Senior Citizens Partylist, had deplored the utter failure of the agency to cover the healthcare needs of over 1 million senior citizens as mandated by RA 10645 which provides for the automatic and universal coverage of Filipino elderly above 60 years old. The proceeds of RA 10351, or the Sin Tax Law, were meant to finance the automatic coverage.

 

However, she said in a previous day story on this site (opinion.com.ph, June 4) that upon the enactment of RA10645, 2 million eligible senior citizen beneficiaries were excluded from the total budget allocation for enrollment as mandated by the Mandatory Philhealth Coverage Act.

 

The total premium allocation for RA10645 under the National Expenditure Program proposed by the Department of Health for Philhealth was P6.7 billion, which only covers 2.8 million senior citizens under the program.

 

Until now, she said, the elderly enrollees of the national health insurance agency are not receiving the Primary Care Benefits afforded to them as announced by Philhealth Circular No. 006-2015 (implementing guidelines for the Mandatory Philhealth Coverage for Senior Citizens).

 

On the firing

 

She said she welcomed the decision of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to fire the OIC of PhilHealth but she also asked the Commission on Audit to conduct a special audit of the PhilHealth to uncover all the anomalous policies and transactions the agency has done since 2015 until the present, including the “disenfranchisement” of millions of seniors from PhilHealth coverage.

 

The PhilHealth now has the opportunity to right the wrongs of recent years, especially those adversely done against senior citizens.

 

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