• SC: PIDS membership fees payment illegal

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    THE Supreme Court affirmed the ruling of the Commission on Audit (COA) that the payment of healthcare membership fees by employees of a research institution was illegal. In a decision dated April 21, 2015, the 15-man tribunal sustained the Notice of Disallowance issued by COA on the fees paid by Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) employees to PhilamCare Health Systems, Inc. (PhilamCare) amounting to P324,700.01. In 2005, the institution and PhilamCare executed a health care agreement providing for hospitalisation, out-patient and emergency services to 54 PIDS employees. On April 25, 2006, the COA said this violated COA Resolution No. 2005-001, which stated that the procurement by government agencies of another health insurance from private health insurance companies as a disbursement of public funds for a purpose already covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporationand must be viewed as a form of additional allowance and compensation. The employees were exonerated from liability on fund disbursement and were excused from returning the fees paid.

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