The Philippine Red Cross could face bankruptcy over PhilHealth COVID-19 swab testing debt, according to Senator Gordon.
Philippine Red Cross Chairman and Senator Richard Gordon said over the weekend that the PRC could fall into bankruptcy should PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corp.) failed to settle its mounting debt.
Quoting Gordon’s statement, a report on GMA Network’s “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday said that the Philippine Red Cross was currently facing financial constraints because of PhilHealth’s failure to pay its COVID-19 swab testing debts estimated at PHP 930 million.
“Kasi sabi nila babayaran, babayaran, babayaran. In the meantime, nagpapadala ng mga test, walang tigil ang pasok. Papayagan namin na 930 [million pesos] ang babayaran nila kung nahihirapan sila. Tapos within three days, bayaran ang balance at magmula ngayon, pairalin ang kontrata — every time mag-test kami, in three days bayaran,” Philippine Red Cross Chairman and Senator Richard Gordon said.
The Philippine Red Cross earlier this month said it would no longer accept COVID-19 swab tests chargeable to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. and would only complete the testing of COVID-19 specimens submitted until October 14.
The cessation of PhilHealth-funded testing, the Philippine Red Cross said, would stay in place until the overdue balance of PHP 930.993 million was paid.
Dante Gierran, PhilHealth chief, said that the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. won’t pay its testing debt until all legal issues about their memorandum of agreement were settled.
This resulted to the stranding of thousands of returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) since the Philippine Red Cross stopped conducting tests.
Under its mandate, PhilHealth was tasked to administer the National Health Insurance Program which aimed to provide health insurance coverage and also ensure acceptable, affordable, accessible, and available health care services for all citizens of the Philippines.
For its part, PhilHealth on Friday said that it would release payment on October 26, 2020.
“Having been in receipt today of the DOJ legal opinion saying that the PhilHealth-PRC MOA is not subject to Procurement Law, PhilHealth will release payment on Monday, October 26, 2020,” PhilHealth said on Friday.