MANILA – The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has resumed its coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing after the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) settled about half of its P1.1-billion debt.
Senator Richard Gordon, who chairs the PRC, said their COVID-19 testing resumed on Tuesday night while other testing laboratories reopened yesterday.
“We embarrassed our entire country. Hindi naman kami sugapa. Sundin niyo lang ‘yung contract,” Gordon said in an online press conference. “Ang tao ang iniisip namin to help save lives.”
Gordon, however, said the PRC will once again halt its operations if the PhilHealth fails to settle its remaining debts by Friday.
“I will not risk the organization again,” Gordon said. “Hindi na ako papayag na lalaki na naman ang utang.”
The PhilHealth sent a P500-million cheque to the PRC on Tuesday afternoon, nearly two weeks after the Philippines’ largest COVID-19 testing organization suspended its services.
PhilHealth CEO Dante Gierran said they will fast track the processing of its remaining balance to PRC “following strict compliance to government accounting rules and regulations.”
“PhilHealth takes exception to the insinuation that it is reckless and is playing on people’s lives. Its prudence in taking charge of its members’ hard-earned contributions is central to the state health insurer. Its exercise of judiciousness is to protect the people and their funds,” Gierran said.
“PhilHealth also recognizes and assures the accredited laboratories conducting the current OFW RT-PCR tests that it will expedite the processing of its payments upon submission of complete documentary requirements,” he added./PN