The Private Hospital Association of the Philippines (PHAP) announced on Monday that it will no longer accept the PhilHealth card as a mode of payment or even as a supplement to settle one’s hospital bill by the end of May.
PHAP President Rustico Jimenez said PhilHealth owes them over P600 million incurred or charged by its members and has compounded for several years now.
Dr. Jimenez said failure by the government-run health care system to settle its obligation with them on or before the end of May would force them to no longer honor the PhilHealth card.
Instead of promising to settle their obligation with PHAP, however, PhilHealth President Alex Padilla threatened to sue the private hospitals if they will not accept the card as part of or for full payment for bills incurred by PhilHealth members and beneficiaries.
Padilla insisted that they have an agreement with PHAP regarding the continued acceptance of the card even if they have not settled their debt with the various private hospitals.
It behooves Padilla to just keep his mouth shut and do what he has to do…settle your damn debt!!!
One wonders how the heck PhilHealth was able to afford giving out fat bonuses to its officials and board of directors last year when it is already neck-deep in debt?
PhilHealth is indeed mismanaged. Its officials should be fired!
Pagasa a neglected agency
While several government agencies, particularly government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs), enjoy lucrative pay and fat bonuses every year, officials and rank-and-file employees of the national weather forecasting agency have to contend with measly pay and delayed incentives and allowances.
For this reason, many Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) top weather forecasters have been leaving the agency to look for better- paying jobs abroad. A few days ago, three of its forecasters left for Qatar after being offered high-paying jobs there.
And just like in the past when reports came out in the media of Pagasa forecasters leaving the agency due to low salary and delayed allowances, Malacanang on Wednesday promised to immediately release their much awaited hazard and longevity pays.
One wonders why Pagasa, an agency under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), is always being left out when it comes to procurement of new and modern equipment and bonuses for its officials and employees and other incentives such as clothing allowance, hazard and longevity pays when it is in the forefront of giving the latest weather bulletins for everyone’s information and safety as well?
An official of the DOST admitted that most of Pagasa’s employees, particularly the forecasters, have specialized training since there is supposedly no school in the country that offers a course in meteorology.
They are underpaid but overworked since the Marcos regime, and have been the butt of jokes for inaccurate weather forecasting due to their obsolete equipment, said the official.
My heart goes out to the men and women of Pagasa.
Who is alias ‘Bingo’ at DepEd?
Rumor has it at the Department of Education (DepEd) that alias “Bingo” was a broker, a contractor and a “bagman” of certain key officials of the department during the previous administration.
According to the gossip, which has been circulating in the hallways of DepEd, “Bingo” facilitated the release of several billions of pesos in department funds for overpriced textbooks and computers of public schools, yet some ended up as “ghost” deliveries.
Rumor-mongers claim that he was instrumental in the release of P750 million to a certain Romy Aquino in 2008 for the purchase of computers that were allegedly overpriced in the first place.
He was also behind the alleged delivery of computers which were overpriced by as much as P400,000 each, to Region 11 during that same period from a certain company known as Merryland Enterprises, according to some DepEd employees.
“Bingo” bragged to every contractor and supplier he dealt with that he was so close to then-DepEd Finance Assistant Secretary Mandy Ruiz and then DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapuz that he can corner fat and juicy projects of the department because of their blessings. True to his word, “Bingo” surprisingly would get big projects, so the rumor goes.
DepEd old-timers hinted that alias “Bingo” was very closely related to a certain Alfred Madamba Jr., also a contractor, and had several business dealings with the agency during the time of President Gloria Arroyo.
I am pretty sure that “Bingo” would make a good resource person or a state witness if the Senate or Congress investigated anomalies at the DepEd during the Arroyo administration.