IMG-3c1c528e453293a23be017ed7ebc38d1-V.jpgAnakalusugan Party-list Rep. Ray Reyes (Screenshot from YouTube live)







How did Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) officials manage to give themselves huge salary hikes in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic? 

Anakalusugan Party-list Rep. Ray Reyes pursued this line of questioning Wednesday, Sept. 6 during the 2024 budget deliberation of the Department of Health (DOH) and its attached agencies. 

PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. led the attending Corporation officials in the hearing. 

It all started when Reyes asked why PhilHealth was asking the government for a P80-billion subsidy for next year despite gaining a net income of P151 billion. Ledesma said that PhilHealth was looking to expand its benefit packages. 

"It's coming out in 2022 COA (Commission on Audit) report that some of your executives have increased or tripled your salaries and allowances. Some of them increasing up to P500,000 a month. Can you please explain to the public how can you justify this?” Reyes asked.  

PhilHealth Spokesperson Israel Francis Pargas said the salary hike resulted from the implementation of Executive Order (EO) No.150, which standardizes the salaries in all government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs). 

When Pargas confirmed that the huge salary increases took effect in 2022, a visibly aghast Reyes asked, "You guys had the guts to actually during the middle of a pandemic, actually put out an EO to triple your salaries?" 

Covid-19 first emerged in the country in early 2020.

In response, Pargas calmly said that the EO did not come from PhilHealth, but was instead issued by Malacañang. "It's not only for PhilHealth, but all the GOCCs."


Reyes, in turn, said he would study the EO.

Source: Manila Bulletin (