Caritas PH seeks accountability on PhilHealth fund mess

Caritas PH seeks accountability on PhilHealth fund mess

Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Kidapawan, Caritas Philippines national director.

By CBCP News

August 13, 2020

Manila, Philippines

Caritas Philippines has called for “justice and accountability” in the public health sector amid allegations of top-level corruption within state insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

Its head, Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Kidapawan, said that corruption is widespread because the corrupt continue to get away with it.

“We are in solidarity with all the sectors calling for the suspension of these officials to give way to an independent investigation of the graft allegations,” Bagaforo said.

The bishop called on authorities “to uncover the truth, serve justice and let everyone involved be accountable.”

He made the statement Thursday as some ranking PhilHealth officials face investigation over P15 billion fraud allegations.

The prelate lamented that some health officials can afford to mess around despite the coronavirus pandemic.

He asked the government to have more stringent measures to detect corruption “before events like this escalate and pose bigger threats to public health delivery”.

“The public cannot always be at the receiving end of corruption in the government,” Bagaforo said.

“It is utterly devastating that cases of this scale and magnitude can prevail in public offices where accountability should have been the primary measure of moral aptitude,” he added.

This is also true with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, according to him.

He stressed that the public health crisis due to Covid-19 has escalated in ways that could have been mitigated “had we acted with enough foresight and unbiased judgements”.

“Now we are not only cramming to prevent a virus from spreading full blown. We also needed to triple our efforts to address social injustice,” he added.

The Church’s social action arm has helped more than five million poor Filipinos during the pandemic through various forms of assistance such as food, hospital equipment and cash assistance.

Most dioceses, religious congregations and seminaries have also transformed their facilities to house medical frontliners, homeless families and as quarantine facilities.

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