President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday announced that he would propose to Congress the abolition of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) which has been under hot water for corruption allegations.

“Itong PhilHealth, I am going to propose to Congress to abolish [it]. Kung i-privatize mo naman, susmaryosep, walang pera. Sino insurance mo? Sabihin ng mga kapitalista sa insurance, ‘kami ang magbayad?’ Wala kayong pondo,” he said in his weekly public address.

Duterte revealed that the Philippines has been selling properties in Japan due to the lack of PhilHealth funding.

Abolishing PhilHealth, he said, would be a “surgical move” to rid corruption.

“Kaya walang ibang remedy diyan. It must be a surgical move. Kung hindi, paalisin ko sans the itong mga civil-civil service. Create a new agency out of the ruins of [PhilHealth],” he added.

PhilHealth revamp

Duterte said he would revamp the state insurer in the meantime.

“Consider everybody resigned there and if there’s the structure, we can slowly disband ‘yung ibang ano. I mean as simple as it could ever be,” he told Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

He will also attempt to “shake the PhilHealth tree” on Tuesday.

“Balak ko mag-reorganize and impose upon them a single line of authority. No more so many… Wala namang iba diyan eh. There are so many tables there in an office, hindi lang PhilHealth, na who can do the work, who can process the papers without really having a discretion whether or not he should be hanging on it, he’s sitting on it,” he said.

Earlier, Duterte approved the Department of Justice-led task force’s recommendation to file criminal and administrative charges against resigned PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales and six other officials over anomalies within the state insurer. John Ezekiel J. Hirro