Thursday, March 10, 2016

PhilHealth dying, might only have 10 months to live -- board member
By Jorge Hallare

LEGAZPI CITY, March 9 (PNA) -- The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. or PhilHealth needs a shot in the arm as it might have its last breath after 10 months since it is fast losing blood with its fund payout larger than its members' monthly contributions and income.

This was disclosed by PhilHealth board member Eddie Dorotan, who was the guest of honor during the inauguration of the company's new Local Health Insurance Office (LHIO) located at Pacific Mall-Gaisano complex here on Tuesday.

Dorotan said the PhilHealth lost almost Php1 billion last year since their payments of benefits to claimants reached Php97 billion while the earnings it had hit only Php96 billion.

The earnings came from PhilHealth's share from the sin tax, members' contributions and yields from its investments.

The PhilHealth official said premium payments to senior citizens and beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) touched the Php10-billion mark.

In the past two to three years, the company spent a large chunk of its financial pie for the enrollment of five million indigent Filipinos.

Despite the monetary problems besetting PhilHealth, however, Dorotan said their company was able to serve the poor through the universal health care.

He said the company should have a two-year reserve fund of at least Php100 billion to continue servicing the public and be reimbursed by the national government, according to the Department of Budget and Management.

The former mayor of Irosin, Sorsogon said PhilHealth benefits a lot from the sin tax from which it got 20 percent of the Php30 billion collection of the national government from the revenue-generating tax.

Dorotan said as a remedial measure to prevent PhilHealth’s financial collapse, it is presently intensifying its collection efforts from its members in the private and government offices.

From the government sector members alone, he said, the company has collectibles of billions of pesos.

Dorotan said PhilHealth raked in Php5 billion in the form of interests from its investments.

Meanwhile, Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda said Albay has 1.6 million PhilHealth members and beneficiaries, and the province’s enrollment has reached 90 percent that’s why, he said, Albayanos are not afraid to work, especially the farmers and fishermen, because they feel that theyhave security.

Salceda asked for a discount on the Albayanos' PhilHealth contributions like a five-year capitation that the government gave after typhoon “Reming” wherein Albay had a 100-percent registration because the Albayanos paid only Php500 per member, which was even lowered to Php250 because of the discount.(PNA) RMA/FGS/JH/CBD