No PhilHealth cards distributed in Bohol — PhilHealth

February 14, 2013 11:30 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, Feb. 14 — In reference to a published article in a major daily that the administration allegedly distributed PhilHealth cards to disrupt the opposition rally in the towns of Loon and Balilihan in Bohol, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) Thursday said the allegation was "grossly inaccurate."

"To clarify the issues raised, the allegation that the health cards distributed in the towns of Loon and Balilihan in Bohol were PhilHealth cards is grossly inaccurate. They were not PhilHealth cards and the activity was not sanctioned by PhilHealth. No PhilHealth employee was present in the said event," according to the PhilHealth statement released by the Office of the Presidential Spokesman.

"Upon verification with our regional office, it was reported that the cards distributed were local government-initiated health cards that offered additional discounts for medicines and possibly other health services for those they have given these cards to," it said.

"The said local government units decided to distribute these cards to existing PhilHealth members in those areas. These activities are not unique to Bohol as many other local government units also issue different types of colored health cards (such as yellow cards and orange cards) to their constituencies," it added.

Health Secretary and PhilHealth OIC-President Enrique T. Ona has already directed the Philhealth leadership and management that "there will be no LGU card distribution during the election period to prevent the possibility of using these activities for election purposes."

Be that as it may, Ona stressed that "we will still investigate such report and if indeed, a PhilHealth employee is involved, we will immediately file appropriate administrative and criminal charges before the COMELEC (Commission on Elections) for election-related violations."

PhilHealth also denied report that the resignation of former president and CEO Dr. Eduardo P. Banzon from PhilHealth was due to the fact that he "refused to toe the government’s directive to use PhilHealth funds for the benefit of the administration Liberal Party coalition" is wrong.

"There was never any government directive to this effect," the statement said.

"Let us not give political color to Dr. Banzon’s resignation and make a big issue out of it because the Corporation has already respected his decision to quit due to personal and family reasons," it said. (PNA)

HBC/LGI

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