THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ) is reviewing the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between Philippine Red Cross and Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) before releasing payments for coronavirus swab tests to the former, citing “procurement issues” in the deal.
Red Cross announced last week that it will temporarily stop accepting RT-PCR tests chargeable to PhilHealth until the state insurer settles dues amounting to about P930 million.
Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra told reporters via Viber that they will render an opinion within the week after reviewing the whole agreement, “but more particularly on procurement issues.”
“The DoJ opinion was requested by PhilHealth before it makes a decision to pay its indebtedness to the Philippine Red Cross,” he said.
Mr. Guevarra said the review on the validity of the agreement may result in civil liabilities but they are not ruling criminal liability.
“We are not ruling out anything until we have completed a thorough review of the subject MOA and laws applicable to the said deal,” he said.
Under the agreement, PhilHealth provided an advance payment of P100 million to Red Cross for testing service.
Presidential Spokesman Harry L. Roque on Wednesday said the government will be paying half of PhilHealth’s debt by next week as he appealed to Red Cross to resume its testing services. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas