13 August 2020 – Following the Senate hearing last August 11, 2020 regarding the anomaly in PhilHealth, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is summoning the agency to discuss the streamlining and reengineering of their service processes.

According to ARTA’s records, PhilHealth was able to submit their Citizen’s Charter last December 6, 2019. As early as January 2020, ARTA already raised findings of deficiency with the submitted Citizen’s Charter of Philhealth to ARTA. ARTA sent the agency a Citizen’s Charter evaluation that they will serve as their basis for revision. ARTA should have received their revised Citizen’s Charter by July 25, 2020 but no such submission by PhilHealth was made.

“Looking at their Citizen’s Charter now, it is very apparent that there are no periods stated for the processing time on how long should it take their offices to resolve claims. Malinaw na po sa batas natin 3-7-20 days lang dapat yan. Any critical service not stated in the Citizen’s Charter will automatically be classified as simple transaction and will have a prescribed processing time of 3 working days. Kaya kung tutuusin ay dapat 3 days lumabas na yung mga desisyon nila on the claims in writting. Failure to do so will expose the officers to administrative and even criminal cases.”, ARTA Director General Jeremiah Belgica said.

In line with this, ARTA is forming a Special Task Force (STF) that will investigate and monitor PhilHealth. The STF will meet later at 1:00 PM via Zoom to discuss PhilHealth’s Citizen’s Charter and their streamlining efforts to improve the process of their services in line with R.A. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Delivery of Government Service Act of 2018.

Under Section 5 of the EODB Law, ARTA is mandated to coordinate with all government agencies to monitor and review their existing laws and regulations to see if these are outdated, redundant, or adds undue regulatory burden to the transacting public. If they are found as such, ARTA may recommend the repeal of their processes by enacting streamlining and reengineering measures.

Further, ARTA may impose sanctions against government agencies that will violate the law, including the crafting of a proper Citizen’s Charter. For the first offense, the penalty is administrative liability with six (6) months suspension. For the second offense, the penalty is administrative and criminal liability punishable by dismissal from service, imprisonment of one (1) year to six (6) years, perpetual disqualification from holding public office, fine of not less than P500K but not more than P2M, and forfeiture of retirement benefits.

ARTA will also be discussing the complaints received against PhilHealth regarding delays in the delivery of government service and failure to provide notices on the approval or disapproval of applications and requests by the public.

“”We are very committed on helping all agencies, including PhilHealth, in streamlining and finding a smart solution on their processes, but they need to be forthcoming so we can help them. Ipakita nila ano ang proseso nila talaga. Otherwise, we will be constrained to just crack the whip and file the needed cases.” the ARTA chief added.

This meeting will be the first in a series of meetings, including their regional offices, that will tackle the process flow of the agency. Upon scrutiny, ARTA will release its findings and issue recommendations for the improvement of their services.