If elected president, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said he will appoint a financial expert to lead the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation to manage the country’s multibillion state health insurance and avoid a repeat of money woes confronting the agency.
“PhilHealth is a financial institution. I will put a financial person. That’s not [a job] for doctors,” he said.
“We will appoint the right person in that particular agency so that PhilHealth’s money can grow. We have to put a financial guy or a group of people who understands finances and how to grow the money of PhilHealth,” the 47-year-old presidential aspirant added.
Domagoso said it is time to do away with the traditional practice of tapping unqualified people for key government positions as a political favor to those who supported a winning presidential candidate.
“We will give the position to the right person and not because we are indebted for their support,” he said.
According to the Universal Health Care Law, a person recommended to become PhilHealth president and CEO must have “at least seven years of experience in the field of public health, management, finance, and health economics, or a combination of any of these expertise.”
The state health insurer, which has been hounded by controversies and allegations of mismanagement over the years, has projected that its actuarial life is likely to be only until 2027.
In a congressional hearing in September last year, a PhilHealth executive said the eventual collapse, unless addressed soonest, is due to the agency’s net losses as a result of the expected rise in the number of COVID-19 related claims.
PhilHealth has also put on hold since January 2021 the collection of new adjustments in member premium contribution following the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to ease the people’s burden due to the pandemic.
With the suspension of the increase, current collection remains at 3 percent.
The UHC mandates increases in member premiums by increments of 0.5 percent every year, starting 2021, until it reaches the 5-percent limit in 2025.