President Duterte said it’s best for PhilHealth’s Morales to step down, DOJ chief Guevarra says

(Eagle News)–President Rodrigo Duterte has said it would be best for PhilHealth Chief Ricardo Morales to step down from his post, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Guevarra said the President said this last night as he took note of Morales’ “on-and-off health situation” amid the “critical times” for the state insurer.

A task force led by Guevarra is probing the allegations of corruption in PhilHealth made by Thorrsson Montes Keith, antifraud officer at the state insurer who recently resigned.

Other agencies are also probing the allegations, including that a PhilHealth “mafia” had pocketed P15 billion in PhilHealth funds.

Morales has taken a leave for his chemotherapy sessions after being diagnosed with cancer.

“(Executive Secretary Salvador) Medialdea added that he had talked earlier to Morales, and that the latter said he would understand if he had to be replaced,” Guevarra said.

Meanwhile, Guevarra said he thought of an interim management committee for PhilHealth “in view of the apparent systemic problems that will be difficult to resolve if the people who have an interest to keep the present structure and systems will remain in their present positions.”

He said the Governance Commission for GOCCs, which is under the Office of the President, has the “statutory mandate to institute organizational changes in (government-owned and -controlled corporations).”

“So we are recommending to the president that the GCG be directed to consider this measure, among others, as part of overall efforts to strengthen PhilHealth. The details, such as who will comprise such interim management committee, their terms of reference, etc, will be determined by the GCG itself,” he added. With a report from Moira Encina