MANILA, Aug 11 (Mabuhay) — Embattled PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales on Tuesday said his one year of service in the state health insurer is not enough to stem the deep-seated problem of fraud.

“Fraud has always been with the system as it has always been in all similar health systems in the world. The problem is systemic and cannot be solved in one year and maybe not even three years,” Morales said during the resumption of the Senate hearing.

“I miscalculated the time required to  get the IT system up and running. One year was not enough and the budget was inadequate for the job,” he added.

Morales further said that the internal anti-fraud mechanisms were “inadequate and inappropriate” to address the internal weaknesses of PhilHealth.

The embattled PhilHealth chief said he welcomes all the attention the corporation is getting as it could pave the way to help it give the people what they truly deserve.

Morales previously said around P10.2 billion could have been lost to fraud in 2019 and the amount could further double by next year should the issue remain unaddressed.

He denied that he was a coddler of corrupt officials and said he is not yet finished with his job.

Amid the ongoing executive and legislative investigations, Morales said he is seeking a medical leave. He is reportedly undergoing chemotherapy after being diagnosed with lymphoma.

Aside from Congress, a task group formed by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra upon orders from President Rodrigo Duterte is also looking into the alleged irregularities in PhilHealth. (MNS)

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