The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is debunking a Commission on Audit (COA) report claiming the the state-run health insurance system gave its officials and employees P1.448 billion worth of bonuses and allowances last year.
On October 10, the commission revealed that officials and employees of PhilHealth were given bonuses and allowances totaling P1.448 billion despite a P3.8-billion shortfall in its reserve fund requirement for 2012.
COA, which labeled itself as “The Philippines' Supreme Audit Institution,” gave PhilHealth until Nov. 12 to respond to its report.
"We're going to challenge COA's findings,” Alexander A. Padilla, PhilHealth president and CEO, told GMA News Online in a phone interview Tuesday. “Our response is being readied and will be submitted earlier than November 12," Padilla noted.
The PhilHealth official said P1.448 billion included bonuses and expenses, noting the insurer received the initial COA report last week.
COA claimed its did not allow the PhilHealth bonuses “for lack of legal basis,” but the management disregarded the state auditor's notices by awarding incentives based on resolutions passed by the PhilHealth board of directors.
“Despite issuance of notices of disallowance and denial of the consolidated appeal of (PhilHealth) management by the Cluster Director, Corporate Government Sector (CGS-CoA), management continuously granted the aforementioned benefits and allowances without obtaining the required approval of the Office of the President,” CoA said.
Padilla said PhilHealth has been giving out bonuses and benefits in the past, and no questions have been raised.
"We have our legal basis, as stated in Sec. 16 n of RA (Republic Act) 7875. Past allowances 'to, 'di na bago," he noted.
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