Health agencies ink anti-corruption agreement

The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission signed an agreement with government health agencies and corporations to boost efforts against corruption.

On Friday, the PACC signed a joint memorandum with the Department of Health (DoH) on a partnership that will strengthen efforts against graft within the DoH, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). Those health agencies have long been the subjects of allegations of corruption and countless probes have been launched in this regard.

The pact is part of the PACC’s Project Kasangga which gathers the commitment of officials from all government agencies to reduce graft and corruption in their departments while also agreeing to cooperate in speedy investigations and prosecution.

PACC Commissioner Greco B. Belgica said during the event on Friday that boosting efforts to combat corruption is needed. “Most especially at this time that our society is more vulnerable to corruption due to the ongoing health and economic crisis,” he said.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said that the health department is one with the PACC and its initiatives to abolish all forms of corrupt activity within the DoH and other government agencies.

Napakahalaga magamit ng tama ang pondo ng gobyerno upang tumugon ang pangangailangang kalusugan ng ating mga kababayan (It is extremely important to appropriately use government funds to address the health needs of our countrymen),” he said.

Meanwhile, Philhealth CEO Dante A. Gierran said that the task will not be easy within his agency, which has long been the subject of speculation and allegations of widespread anomalies before he was appointed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to cleanse the agency.

“It is not an easy task, but with the Filipino people in mind for inspiration, anti-corruption and bureaucracy is worth it… Kami sa Philhealth ay nagpapatupad ng anti-fraud measures na puso

ng (We in Philhealth have implemented anti-fraud measures that is the heart of the) national health insurance program,” he said. — Gillian M. Cortez