PhilHealth yet to settle overdue payment despite promise - Sen. Gordon

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 26) -- The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has yet to settle its debt with the Philippine Red Cross despite its commitment to pay today, Oct. 26, PRC chairperson Sen. Richard Gordon said.

“No payment as yet in spite of their numerous announcements that they will pay,” said Gordon in a statement.

The state-run health insurer owes the humanitarian organization over ₱1 billion, wherein nearly ₱931 million is marked as overdue balance. The Red Cross said this has forced the organization to stop conducting coronavirus tests charged to the agency.

Gordon said the lack of funds threatens the operations Red Cross-run laboratories in Batangas, Clark, Cebu, Negros, Zamboanga, and Cagayan de Oro.

“We have lost money in all of them, but we need to test there. Otherwise, Covid might go everywhere,” the senator said. “Almost completed [laboratories] are in Passi for Panay Island and Isabela. At the moment, we are almost out of test kits. To replenish, we need to be paid.”

Further, Gordon said the Red Cross may need to cancel its chartered flight to China tomorrow for the procurement of test kits if PhilHealth fails to pay the overdue amount.

“Due to PhilHealth non-payment, we do not have the money to pay for the test kits and other equipment worth $6-8 billion just for this particular shipment,” he said. “We will have to cancel the flight tomorrow if no payment is made.”

Malacañang earlier said that PhilHealth will partially settle its overdue sum, but Gordon insisted for its full payment.

More than 6,000 overseas Filipino workers are now stranded in quarantine facilities since the Red Cross stopped testing PhilHealth clients two weeks ago.