MANILA - The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) workers' union on Tuesday said it will be cooperating with new PhilHealth president, Dante Gierran, despite earlier voicing concerns about his appointment.
Fe Francisco, the president of Workers for Hope, Integrity, Transparency, and Empowerment (White), said they had concerns about Gierran's appointment, but they are ready to work with him.
"Yung statement namin kanina, it was out of concern. Concern sa korporasyon, concern sa programa, because as you know, pang-limang presidente na po si Atty. Gierran dito sa administrasyon ni Pangulong Duterte," she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(Our earlier statement, it was out of concern. Concern for the corporation, concern for the program, because as you know, Atty. Gierran is the fifth president appointed in this administration.)
Francisco earlier said they were disappointed that Duterte did not listen to their plea to appoint someone who is an expert in public health or finance, as mandated by law.
But after listening to the explanation of Palace spokesperson Harry Roque, and to Gierran's admission that he is no public health expert, Francisco said they are willing to help their new president.
"At kanina rin narinig namin siya (we listened to him earlier), and we appreciate his honesty and his humility to admit that he's scared. He's very scared, that he does not know operations, he does not know about public health," she said.
"It speaks a lot about the person, being honest and being humble enough to admit it," Francisco added.
She also said Gierran will be needing all the help he can get, after senators recommended filing charges against incumbent officials of PhilHealth.
"He will be coming in PhilHealth with no execomm (executive committee), so he needs all the help that he can get. So tutulong po kami, makikipagtulungan po kami sa aming bagong presidente (We will help, we will help our new president)," Francisco said.
The Senate Committee of the Whole earlier recommended the filing of criminal charges against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and several former and incumbent officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) over alleged anomalies at the state health insurer.
With all the problems he will face in PhilHealth, Francisco said she hopes Gierran would be discerning when it comes to resolving the issues.
"He should have a good stance, a firm stance. He should have, may discernment, kung ano ang tama, ano ang mali (He should have discernment on what is right and what is wrong)," she explained.
Gierran took over leadership of the PhilHealth as top officials of the state medical insurer are being investigated for alleged anomalies.
He replaced Ricardo Morales who was told to resign as he underwent chemotherapy.