MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - President Rodrigo Duterte has picked a new PhilHealth chief, replacing Celestina Ma. Jude Dela Serna, appointment papers obtained by ABS-CBN News showed.
Duterte tapped Dr. Roy Ferrer as acting president and chief executive officer of PhilHealth, copies of the nomination papers shared with ABS-CBN News by the Department of Health and the appointee himself confirmed.
Ferrer is a Davao native who is also a current member of the PhilHealth board of directors representing the employers sector.
In a statement, Ferrer said he will do his best “to be an effective public servant and to carry out the mandate of [PhilHealth and President Duterte].”
Dela Serna said she has not spoken to the President before she was removed from her post.
She also declined to comment further on the issue.
Duterte replaced Dela Serna following reports of alleged anomalies in PhilHealth, including Dela Serna’s supposedly excessive expenses on trips and hotel accommodations.
The Commission on Audit earlier questioned Dela Serna’s P627,000 travel expenses to and from Tagbilaran and Manila. This included plane fares, terminal fees, and hotel and lodging accommodations.
Dela Serna has denied spending too much on her trips and hotel accommodations.