Liquidated funds of PhilHealth don't mean it's 'legally disbursed' – Lacson

Liquidated funds of PhilHealth don't mean it's 'legally disbursed' – Lacson

MANILA, Philippines — Liquidated funds do not mean it was “legally disbursed.”

Senator Panfilo Lacson said this Wednesday after Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) president Dante Gierran said 92 percent of the P15 billion earlier alleged “stolen” has already been liquidated.

“Liquidation is different from audit,” Lacson said in a statement.

“Say, if public funds were spent not for Covid-19 as required under the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) but for dialysis centers and infirmaries and which are clearly not authorized, it can still be declared as liquidated – but it does not mean funds were legally disbursed,” he added.

It was during last year’s Senate Committee of the Whole hearing, initiated by Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, that a resigned PhilHealth anti-fraud officer alleged that some P15 billion from the agency’s coffers was supposedly pocketed by a “mafia-like syndicate” in the state insurance firm through different fraudulent schemes.

Following the Senate inquiry, over the alleged misuse of funds under the state-run agency’s emergency cash advance measure.

Earlier this month, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed over their alleged involvement in the anomalous release of IRM funds intended for “fortuitous” events like the Covid-19 pandemic.