“Second-level” officials to run Philhealth as top officials asked to submit courtesy resignation

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo during the regular press briefing on Tuesday, June 6, 2019, in Malacanang. (Photo grabbed from RTVM video)


(Eagle News) – Malacanang said that “second-level officials” will run the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) after no less than President Rodrigo Duterte had asked its top officials and board members to submit courtesy resignations.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that while the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is investigating Philhealth, it is better for the top Philhealth officials to not have any direct involvement in the operations.

He said that President Duterte wanted a “clean slate absent any taint of irregularity in rendering services as well as implementing pertinent policies on health, including the Universal Health Care Act.”

“He needs a clean slate so that the investigation will proceed uninfluenced,” Panelo said.

“We assure our people that the services of PhilHealth will remain unhampered as operations will continue and will be momentarily run by second-level officials pending the subject investigation,” he said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that President Duterte wanted the letters of resignation of the top Philhealth officials to be submitted within the day.

“The marching order is quite clear and that again he expects that the letters of resignation will be filed by the end of the day and he would like to have a clean slate and he would like to study the challenges confronting PhilHealth,” Duque said.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said that certain plantilla officials in Philhealth will also be placed under the Office of the President while the probe is ongoing.

President Duterte wanted the courtesy resignation of Philhealth acting president and CEO Roy Ferrer, although he still has the President’s trust.

Go said that the President wanted the resignation of Ferrer and the others high-ranking Philhealth officials because of “command responsibility” regarding the various anomalies on Philhealth claims.