Red Cross asked to resume COVID-19 tests
Malacañang Palace asked the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to resume COVID-19 testing services that will be charged to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., according to a report by GMA News.
In a statement, Palace spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte had given his commitment to pay the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PhiHealth) debt which according to Red Cross has ballooned to over P1 billion from P930.9 million previously.
Roque said the Department of Justice issued a legal opinion that PhilHealth had to provide initial payment while the department reviewed the agreement between the PRC and the state health insurer on COVID-19 tests.
“Having said this, we call on the PRC to resume its testing services,” Roque said.
“We likewise ask the public, including our stranded overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and overseas Filipinos (OFs), for their patience and understanding as we resolve this matter at the soonest possible time. In the meantime, we have already asked government and private laboratories to assist our OFWs and OFs in their RT-PCR testing,” the Palace official added.
PRC chairperson and Senator Richard Gordon told a news conference on Friday that PhilHealth must pay off the full balance after Roque said on Wednesday that the government will settle half of the debt within this week or next week.
Gordon also said PhilHealth has not given any clear timeline or commitment when they would pay.
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