Undue advantage in Philhealth-Red Cross deal
Buklod National Movement says “humanitarian” organization Philippine Red Cross (PRC) may have undue advantage on its demand for full payment of its P930 million in receivables from Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) as its head is an elected legislator.
Ben Punongbayan, Chairman and Founder of Buklod, said this development brings into focus an issue of conflict of interest by the chairman of a private entity, which is doing business with a government entity, while at the same time serving as a member of the Philippine legislature.
He said PRC may have undue advantage over Philhealth for payment of its receivables, much to the detriment of the other creditors that also need to collect from the government’s primary healthcare entity.
The Buklod chief also pointed out that if and when Philhealth needs additional support funds from the government, the approval of such appropriations necessarily needs legislative action. This decision process may also lead to giving priority to PRC.
“Equally important is the issue of fairness of the practice where an existing elected official simultaneously holds the top position in a group funded by donations from the general public, both here and abroad. As such, the elected official has clearly an undue advantage, especially during elections,” said Punongbayan.
“These kinds of situations need to be reviewed by the appropriate government body for purposes of establishing good public governance and upholding and maintaining fairness in our elections,” Punongbayan added.