PhilHealth names new interim president and CEO

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 11 2017 09:36 AM | Updated as of Apr 11 2017 10:22 AM

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has named its new Interim Officer-in-charge, President and Chief Executive Officer.

In a news release dated April 10, PhilHealth said the board of directors in a special meeting unanimously voted Dr. Celestina Ma. Jude P. De la Serna to the position following the resignation of Dr. Hildegardes C. Dineros.

De la Serna served as hospital chief of Maribojoc Community Hospital and Cong. Natalio P. Castillo Sr. Memorial Hospital in Bohol before her appointment to the PhilHealth board representing overseas Filipino migrant workers.

Dineros' resignation came at the heels of a purported power struggle between him and Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, who also serves as the PhilHealth Chairperson.

The Inquirer on Sunday reported that Dineros ordered the reassignment of over 40 officers and personnel at PhilHealth--an action which Ubial questioned in a memorandum.

She stressed in her memorandum that the officer-in-charge has no proper authority "to appoint or fill up vacancies, exercise power to discipline, temporarily or permanently designate, transfer or reassign personnel," among other powers.

She also said that until President Rodrigo Duterte appoints a permanent president at PhilHealth, Dineros’ authority as interim president "shall be limited to signing documents."

According to the news release, Dineros remains as member of the Board, representing the Informal Economy Sector.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Dineros said he was offended by this seeming dismissal because he did not break any rule or process in connection with his task as president-CEO.

He said he was set to implement his reform agenda and anti-corruption program after PhilHealth became involved in anomalies such as pilferages and fraudulent claims.

Despite this, he said he has no choice but to abide by the board's decision.

PhilHealth, established in 1995, is mandated to provide health insurance coverage and ensure "affordable, acceptable, available and accessible health care services" for all Filipino citizens.

- with a report by Apples Jalandoni, ABS-CBN News