PhilHealth strong and stable, Palace assures

August 20, 2009 9:47 am 

MANILA, AUg. 20 — Malacañang assured the public Thursday that the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is financially “strong and stable.”

Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. made the assurance in response to reports that the agency is on the brink of bankruptcy and that the only remedy is for the government to pay its legal obligation to it.

“Hindi po ito totoo at malayo sa katotohanan ang bagay na ito,” Andaya told reporters this afternoon during a press briefing.

In fact, he added, the PHIC posted an income of P10 billion last year, compared to P5 billion in 2001.

He said aside from the annual income, the agency has a reserve fund of P63 billion to finance future contingency.

“So, nais lang po naming ipaabot sa inyo na sapat ang pondo ng PHIC, wala pong pangamba ni anuman na magsasara ito o maba-bankrupt (We just want to inform all of you that PHIC has enough funds, and there is no indication that it will close down or go bankrupt),” Andaya stressed.

Under the 2009 General Appropriation Act (GAA), Congress appropriated P610 million for PHIC.

Therefore, Andaya said, there is no basis to hold DBM responsible for its allegedly P19 billion arrears or obligations.

PhilHealth vice president and acting chief executive officer Melissa “Baby” Mercado, said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) remitted P288 million in 2006 and another P85 million in 2007.

She assured the employees, both private and public, who pay their contributions to the PHIC that they can readily avail themselves of healthcare benefits when they need them. (PNA) LDV/OPS/ssc

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