Proposed to be a solution to combat the system’s established seedy practices as laid out by its corrupt personnel, Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth)’s Php2.1 billion IT project is seen as overpriced, according to government auditors.
One major red flag over the proposed initiative is the undocumented plan to acquire various hardware equipment amounting to Php734 million. The anomaly was concluded based on the three complementing reports conducted by both the Commission on Audit and PhilHealth’s own resident auditors.
In a report produced last May alone, a group of COA auditors claimed that the budget for five “ICT (information and communications technology) resources” has exceeded calculated cost by Php98 million.
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The issue also boils down to the software aspect of the overall project which sees the government body paying a large sum of Php21 million for an Adobe software license per unit, whereas the expense would be just Php168,000 per unit—a dramatic increase of 12,400% from the original cost.
But the aforementioned only mentions a few portion of the corruption that is taking place within the proposed project alone as there are also others that saw spiking increases in the asking budget.
In light of the irregularity, the internal auditors claims that there is a “syndicate” within the ranks of the state-run corporation whose modus operandi is to buy overpriced equipment.
Due to the gravity and level of corruption in the state insurer agency, many who are in the know relate the case as the reason for why PhilHealth antifraud officer, Thorsson Montes Keith, left his position.