MANILA (UPDATED) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday named former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) chief Dante Gierran as the new head of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth).
Duterte announced Gierran's appointment during his meeting with the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force, which was aired late Monday.
"Pakilala ko lang sa inyo 'yung bagong kuwan ko na PhilHealth, si Gierran. He was the retired director of the NBI. He is a lawyer and an accountant, so palagay ko, sabi ko sa kaniya, the next two years will be devoted to fight against corruption," Duterte said.
(I will introduce you to the new PhilHealth chief, si Gierran. He was the retired director of the NBI. He is a lawyer and an accountant, so I believe, I told him, the next two years will be devoted to fight against corruption.)
"Maghanap kayo ng mapakulong natin para may maiwan tayo sa kulungan," he added.
(Look for people we can send to jail so there will be people left in jail.)
Duterte also instructed Gierran to reshuffle regional directors of PhilHealth.
"I want a reshuffle of the different regional offices within the next two or three days. That goes for the NBI, and the Philhealth," he said.
"'Yung lahat ng ano, regional vice president, tanggalin ninyo, whether performing at par or in parity with the other good ones. You know, if they are there for so long a time, the element of familiarity always enters the picture. 'Yan ang mahirap diyan," Duterte added.
(All regional vice presidents, remove them, whether performing at par or in parity with the other good ones. You know, if they are there for so long a time, the element of familiarity always enters the picture. That's what's difficult.)
Gierran replaced retired Brig. Gen. Ricardo Morales who resigned last week as PhilHealth president and chief executive officer amid allegations of corruption in the state-led insurer even as the country goes through health and economic crises due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Prior to his appointment as new PhilHealth chief, Gierran served as NBI director. He retired earlier this year.
Duterte has accepted the resignation of Morales over his health condition. The former military general disclosed he was undergoing cancer treatment.
PhilHealth Executive vice president and chief operating officer Arnel De Jesus took over from Morales in an interim capacity.
De Jesus, however, also said he had heart ailments and diabetes which made him unable to attend Senate and House hearings on alleged corruption and mismanagement of PhilHealth.