Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday said his office is reviewing the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
Guevarra said the DOJ’s opinion on the matter was requested by Philhealth through its president Dante Gierran “before it makes a decision to pay its indebtedness” to the PRC.
The DOJ’s opinion is expected to be issued within the week.
Guevarra also said the review will take up the whole MOA, but more particularly on procurement issues.
“We’re giving this our preferential attention,” he said.
Malacañang earlier said PRC can resume its coronavirus disease (Covid-19) testing services after President Rodrigo Duterte gave his assurance that PhilHealth would settle its P931-million debt, starting with 50 percent of the overdue balance incurred by PhilHealth for testing services to the PRC within the month.
The PRC last week stopped conducting tests that are being charged to PhilHealth.
The PRC has been receiving samples of returning overseas Filipino workers, those arriving in airports and seaports, those in mega swabbing facilities, and front-line health and government workers.
Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd said at least 4,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were stranded after the PRC stopped the Covid-19 tests for the government due to PhilHealth’s unpaid balance.
Bello said the OFW-returnees have been stranded in hotels in Metro Manila as they wait for their swab tests and results before they will be transported by the government to their respective provinces.
A negative swab test result is one of the requirements for the OFWs to be able to go back to their hometowns.Gierran said the state insurer will pay its outstanding balance but also pointed out that his team found questionable items in the agency’s existing deal with the non-government organization. (pna.gov.ph)