The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has committed to pay its existing P930-million debt to Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Monday, Oct. 26.
The state health insurer said on Friday that it received the legal opinion from the Department of Justice (DOJ), which gave its legal opinion that the PhilHealth-PRC memorandum of agreement “is not subject to Procurement Law.”
“Having been in receipt today of the DOJ legal opinion saying that the PhilHealth-PRC MOA is not subject to Procurement Law, PhilHealth will release payment on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020,” PhilHealth said.
The PRC said it spent a total of P930 million to test returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and other individuals for possible coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
According to the PhilHealth, the payments would be “subject to completeness of billing requirements submitted by the PRC, and in compliance to COA (Commission on Audit) rules.”
“This should enable the PRC to immediately resume its testing of swab specimen of concerned sectors which PhilHealth pays for,” PhilHealth said.
Meanwhile, Malacañang released a statement before that the state insurer was only advised to partially settle its debt to PRC as the agreement is currently under review.
Despite Malacañang’s recommendation, PhilHealth says it is still committed to settle its obligations in full after Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the PRC, demanded that the debt be paid in full.
Due to this, the PRC has ordered to stop conducting Covid-19 tests since October 15 on arriving OFWs, passengers in airports and seaports, individuals needing Covid-19 tests in government swabbing facilities, front-line health and government workers, and others included in the expanded testing guidelines set by the Department of Health.
Currently, over 6,000 OFWs are stranded in various quarantine facilities in Metro Manila waiting to get tested. RJ Espartinez