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‘Kawawang Pilipinas.’ Jason Abalos reacts to claims of ₱15 billion stolen by PhilHealth execs

“Woow!! kawawang pilipinas, nakakawalang pag asa,” he wrote.

Kapuso actor Jason Abalos took to social media to express his disappointment with the government after it was reported that PhilHealth officials have stolen over P15 billion in fraudulent schemes.

He posted on his Twitter account that he pitied the Philippines because its government stole from its people instead of using the money to provide for the needs of the Filipinos.

“Woow!! kawawang pilipinas, nakakawalang pag asa,” he wrote.

Abalos was in disbelief that the corporation that was supposed to implement universal health coverage in the Philippines, ended up stealing money from the people. The officials also stole the people of their rights in having security in their health insurance.

Abalos also posted his frustration over the disturbing amount of corrupt people in the country.

“Daming corrupt!” Abalos said.

Some supported his bravery in speaking up for the people. They agreed with the actor’s statement that Filipinos are extremely pitiful, adding that corrupt government officials make the situation worse.

They said that the corrupt people of the PhilHealth corporation are the reason why hospitals and patients are suffering financially.

But some netizens also slammed Abalos, claiming he pretends to be all-knowing when in fact he doesn’t know a thing.

A netizen mocked the actor and questioned what his use will be if he were to become the president of the country.

Abalos calmly responded and said that the basher shouldn’t wish for him to be the president.

“Wag mo ipagdasal at uunahin ko kayo :)” he said.

The actor hoped that the country’s health system will be improved so that Filipinos will have the opportunity to live a more healthy and long life.

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) was created in 1995 to implement universal health coverage in the Philippines. It is a tax-exempt, government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) of the Philippines, and is attached to the Department of Health.

Its stated goal is to “ensure a sustainable national health insurance program for all”, according to the company. This social insurance program provides a means for the healthy to pay for the care of the sick and for those who can afford medical care to subsidize those who cannot.

But according to the news, a whistleblower revealed that about P15 billion of the funds of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) fattened the wallets of a “syndicate’’ in the state-run health insurer in 2019 alone. According to a former antifraud officer of the corporation, it is the “crime of the year.”

Lawyer Thorrsson Montes Keith told a Senate hearing that all members of PhilHealth’s executive committee composed the “mafia,” which had been allegedly defrauding the corporation for the past several years.

“My primary job as antifraud legal officer of PhilHealth is to spy on corrupt personnel … What I have discovered in PhilHealth may be called ‘crime of the year,’” said Keith, who quit his post on July 23.

Likening the rampant questionable transactions in PhilHealth to the pandemic, he said that “I believe, based on my investigation, that the (public) money that had been wasted or stolen was more or less P15 billion.”

Keith claimed that the ₱15 billion covers the unauthorized release of interim reimbursement mechanisms or funds allocated for “fortuitous events” such as the pandemic, to hospitals who have not yet recorded COVID-19 cases. The amount also included the alleged overpriced information technology systems the agency proposed to purchase.

Keith also disclosed that PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales once directed him to approach Greco Belgica, commissioner of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, to amend the investigation of the allegedly overpriced testing kits for COVID-19.

Whistleblowers earlier estimated that the insurance company lost P154 billion to various types of fraud, including reimbursements for “ghost” dialysis patients, overpayments, false claims, and “upcasing” of common ailments.

The PhilHealth chief said about P10.2 billion in agency funds might have been lost to fraud in 2019 and that this could “balloon” to P18 billion next year if the leakages would not be plugged.

On August 4, acting senior vice president for actuarial services Nerissa Santiago told the Senate that PhilHealth will run out of funds by 2022, as it projected massive losses in 2020 and 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Santiago was among several top PhilHealth officials called in for the Senate’s legislative investigation of alleged widespread corruption in the state health insurer.

“We expect that by 2021, we will be in the red already, so it’s only one year…in terms of the actuarial life,” she said.

Abalos has also recently posted his reactions regarding the PH government joking about disinfecting masks using gasoline.

He called the government out on social media after Presidential Speaker Harry Roque said that President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks about disinfecting masks using gasoline were a joke.

“Namatay ang kaibigan kong pediatric surgeon dahil sa covid, tapos may panahon pa kayong mag joke?? Pagbabago ang ginusto ko nong binoto kita hindi panggagago!” he stressed.

In response to another tweet from a reporter who shared Harry Roque’s response to the issue during a press briefing at Malacañang Palace, Jason wrote: ‘Joke talaga to sila!’

Back in 2016, Jason was a supporter of the President when he was still a mayor of Davao City.

Abalos was a Star Magic talents until 2017. He won the Best Actor in the 2008 Gawad Urian Awards for Endo. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology.

On October 3, 2017, Abalos transferred to GMA Network and signed an exclusive contract at GMA Artist Center after 13 years as a talent of Star Magic of ABS-CBN.


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