DAVAO CITY — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has challenged the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to regain the trust of the people after being embroiled in corruption issues.

“I challenge the new management of PhilHealth to check on these anomalies and irregularities,” he said in an interview here on Saturday night regarding the alleged fraudulent claims, ghost payments and upcasing in the agency.

Issues of corruption and the reported existence of a “mafia” within the government-controlled corporation surfaced at a joint inquiry of the blue ribbon and health committees in the Senate last week.

Go, chair of the Senate Health Committee, wanted to get answers from the previous management of PhilHealth about its alleged failure to settle its financial obligations to private hospitals.

“Merong sabwatan yan (There is connivance) between the officials and the hospitals,” the neophyte senator added. He confirmed that they will conduct another joint committee hearing with the blue ribbon next week.

“Huwag niyong palusutin ang ganitong pangyayari kasi pera po ng tao yan. Andaming nagkakasakit at humihingi ng tulong. Bakit sila kailangan magmakaawa e pera po nila yan? (Don’t allow these anomalies to happen because the people’s money is involved here. A lot of people are getting sick. Why do they need to beg when that is their money?” Go said.

He also stressed that people are fed up with reasons, so the government should give solutions to the issue. In his previous interviews, Go said the new management of PhilHealth must be given ample time to address the problem.

However, he emphasized that it does not mean that they are being lenient on them.

“So dapat managot ang dapat managot (Those responsible have to be accountable),” he added.

The senator stressed that in order to continue the operation of hospitals, the remittances must be submitted by PhilHealth.

Go visited Davao City on Saturday evening to extend financial and relief assistance to families and individuals affected by a fire on Friday.

About 150 houses in Isla Verde, Barangay 23-C here, were destroyed in the said incident.

Accompanying the senator to provide government interventions were representatives from the National Housing Authority, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Trade and Industry and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. (PNA)

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