CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija — President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to reform the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to provide better healthcare for Filipinos.
In a speech during the 20th-anniversary celebration of Premiere Medical Center (PMC) here on Wednesday, January 18, the President said PhilHealth is plagued by problems particularly corruption that needs to be fixed with urgency.
“Pero napag-usapan na lang naman ho natin itong profession ninyo, malaki ho ’yung problema ko sa gobyerno and this is not the first time that I have heard again complaints sa PhilHealth,” the President said before a crowd of doctors and health officials.
He said he plans to summon medical associations, PhilHealth and Department of Health (DOH) officials to a meeting in Malacañan to craft policies aimed at reforming the health insurance agency.
“There has to be a corrective measure put in place now,” he said.
Corruption must be eliminated, he said, asking the public to support government’s anti-corruption drive. The people must also be assertive to fight abuses and misdeeds, he added.
At the same time, the President warned corrupt government officials and personnel to mend their ways.
Kayong lahat nasa gobyerno, if you are dealing with the transacting public, the taxpayers, I have this to say: Now is not the time to do it,” he said.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, you have had your heydays, your fun and glory but this time, at my time, paki lang po kasi…It’s only six years, a little bit of sacrifice,” he added.
As proof of his anti-corruption drive, he said he fired two of his fraternity brothers involved in anomaly. Ninety two personnel at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) were also sacked, he said, adding he will not stop in eliminating corrupt personnel.
President Duterte also renewed his strong anti-illegal drugs stance, adding that after meeting the mayors at the Palace last week, he will meet the governors this week to also discuss the perils of illegal drugs. He promised to eliminate illegal drugs in the country during his term.
The President also talked about Mindanao rebellion and warned them against the threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) that has already affected the Middle East.
Aside from meeting officials of PMC here, the President also came face to face with cancer patients in the hospital’s villa for patients and relatives.
Among those who welcomed the President were Atty. Danilo Yang, PMC chairman of the board; Dr. Sylvia Yang, PMC medical director; and Dr. Reynaldo Yang, PMC president.