PhilHealth's 2022 budget request slashed by ₱30B

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 24) — Philippine Health Insurance Corporation's budget request for next year was cut by ₱30 billion.

This was revealed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III during the House Committee on Health's hearing on the implementation of the Universal Health Care Law and PhilHealth Circular 2021-0013, which suspends the payment of claims to healthcare providers under probe for fraudulent, unethical acts, and/or abuse of authority.

"We asked for ₱110.13 billion. But the NEP (National Expenditure Program) reflects ₱80 billion," Duque told lawmakers on Tuesday.

He did not say why the proposed budget of the state health insurer was slashed.

Data from the Department of Budget and Management show that PhilHealth's proposed budget will be used to subsidize the health insurance premiums of indirect contributors, including indigents, senior citizens, and unemployed persons with disabilities.

Lemuel Untalan, acting vice president of PhilHealth's Member Management Group, told Congress that more than 50 million Filipinos, including dependents, are being subsidized by the state health insurer. The number of Filipinos in PhilHealth's database is around 95 million.