Congress probes into PhilHealth controversies start this week

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines)— Separate investigations by the Senate and the House of Representatives into the alleged irregularities and fresh controversies hounding state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corporation will start this week, according to lawmakers.

The Senate Committee of the Whole will formally open its probe on Tuesday, August 4, Senator Ping Lacson said in a message to reporters on Thursday.

Lacson and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III filed last week Senate Resolution 475— which also calls for an inquiry into the allegations of incompetence and inefficiency at the agency that supposedly led to the controversial resignation of some of its officials.

The House, on the other hand, will also conduct its own investigation into the fresh issues starting on Wednesday, August 5, Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor said in a statement on Sunday.

Defensor said the Committee on Public Accounts will be inviting officials from PhilHealth-- including resigned anti-fraud legal officer Thorsson Montes Keith-- as well as personnel from the Department of Health.

Keith, in his resignation letter, claimed widespread corruption and other anomalies in the PhilHealth system, including an unfair job promotion process.

Officials and staff of the state health insurer— including President and CEO Ricardo Morales— denied such allegations.

READ: Blessing in disguise? PhilHealth anti-fraud legal officer’s resignation opens door for Senate probe on alleged corruption, anomalies in the agency