Caritas Philippines, the Catholic Church’s social action arm, has spoken up against the injustice and lack of accountability in the public health sector, particularly on the allegations of top-level corruption within Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth Corp).
According to Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Kidapawan, national director of Caritas Philippines, the corruption is at an all-time high because the corrupt continue to get away with it. “We are in solidarity with all the sectors calling for the suspension of these officials to give way to an independent investigation of the graft allegations,” he said. (Read: 3 Ways Caritas PH Is Giving Support to Filipinos in Need)
Serve Truth and Justice
Bishop Bagaforo further called on the authorities “to uncover the truth, serve justice, and let everyone involved be accountable.” He decried the corruption allegations and lamented how some Philhealth officials can afford to do such things despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The bishop also called on the government to have more stringent measures on corruption.
“The public cannot always be at the receiving end of corruption in the government,” Bagaforo said. “It is utterly devastating that cases of this scale and magnitude can prevail in public offices where accountability should have been the primary measure of moral aptitude,” he added. (Read: The Government Officials Who Resigned From Their Posts This Year)
Public Health Crisis
Bishop Bagaforo also hit Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, stressing that the public health crisis that the country is experiencing now due to COVID-19 could have been mitigated “had we acted with enough foresight and unbiased judgements.” (Read: Bishop Urges Government Leaders to ‘Talk Less, Listen More’)
“Now we are not only cramming to prevent a virus from spreading full-blown. We also needed to triple efforts to address social injustice,” he added.