MANILA, July 2, 2019–The Commission on Audit (COA) has ordered the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to return more than P139 million in allowances and bonuses that the state auditor says were illegally given to its officials and employees in 2012.
The COA denied on May 23 the motion for reconsideration filed by resigned PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Alexander Padilla in April 2016, which sought to invalidate the two notice of disallowances (NDs) issued by the COA-Corporate Government Sector (CGS) Cluster 6 in May 2013.
The two NDs flagged Philhealth for giving subsistence, laundry allowance and hazard pay to its officials and employees in the Central Office and National Capital Region for 2012, valued at P91,156,377.93.
The state auditor validated the earlier decision of its CGS that PhilHealth workers are not supposed to receive the additional allowances since these are exclusive to public health workers providing actual health services in a health establishment or facility, as stated by Republic Act 7305 or the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers.
“Clearly, PHIC personnel who are not directly involved in rendering health or health-related services cannot be considered health workers and be entitled to hazard pay. PHIC is a government corporation established to provide health insurance coverage and not the performance of health service functions,” COA said.
Moreover, COA noted that “PHIC is a government corporation established to provide health insurance coverage and not the performance of health service functions.” (Jojo Mangahis / PacificTimes)