Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said that he is open to the proposal to privatize the beleaguered Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) as a solution to finally stop corruption.

“Yes, there are many components of the health insurance system that can be outsourced. An example would be claims processing, ‘yung counter fraud, risk management — tatlo po ‘yan na puwede natin i-privatize,” Duque explained during the Senate hearing on the DOH’s proposed P203.74-billion budget for 2021.

“Makakatulong po ito para sa maayos na pamamalakad ng PhilHealth. Maiiwasan po ‘yung mga pandaraya sa pag-file ng mga claims kung ito ay naka-privatize,” he further explained.

Currently, Duque sits as the chairperson of the PhilHealth Board and was tagged by the Senate as part of the state insurer’s alleged irregular interim reimbursement mechanism.

He, on the other hand, was firm on his stand that he was not part of the irregularities.

Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed graft and malversation complaints against various PhilHealth executives. Duque, however, was not charged by the NBI.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte, has earlier mentioned that he is also considering the idea of privatization, if not abolition of the state insurer.

The Governance Commission for Government-owned and Controlled Corporation’s (GOCC) is also considering the possibility of privatizing PhilHealth as an option to finally end the corruption. RJ Espartinez