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Duque confirms presence in Senate PhilHealth probe

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has assured the Senate that he will participate in the chamber’s investigation on the alleged anomalies in the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) Tuesday.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Senate President Vicente Sotto III confirmed Monday that Duque will attend their third hearing.

“He has sent word to me that he will attend virtually,” Sotto, who chairs the Senate Committee of the Whole conducting the legislative inquiry, said.

Duque decided to undergo self-quarantine after Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año announced that he again tested positive for COVID-19. Other member of the multi-agency task force handling the pandemic are also on self-isolation.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said Duque’s exposure to the virus will not be an excuse for his absence in the Senate inquiry.

“Being possibly exposed to the virus is not an acceptable excuse as far as the Senate is concerned,” said Lacson.

Duque has been summoned to the legislative investigation to shed light on the issues in the PhilHealth. Senators said that the Health Secretary, as the concurrent chairman of the PhilHealth Board of Directors, should have knowledge on the programs and transactions being undertaken by the agency.

The Senate Committee of the Whole is investigating claims of corruption and reported anomalies in the PhilHealth, especially its allegedly overpriced IT system procurement plan, the supposed favoritism in its Interim Reimbursement Mechanism, and its alleged mismanagement of funds.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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