'Aaralin ko yan': New PhilHealth chief says to learn about public health

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 03 2020 12:16 PM

'Aaralin ko yan': New PhilHealth chief says to learn about public health 1
PhilHealth President Dante Gierran. File

MANILA - The new head of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) said Thursday he would educate himself about public health after he earlier admitted lack of knowledge on the matter.

PhilHealth president and CEO Dante Gierran earlier drew flak after he said that he does "not know what public health is," a day after President Rodrigo Duterte announced his appointment to the helm of the state medical insurer.

"I admit, ano ba ang alam ko sa public health? Of course, aaralin ko 'yan. Aaralin ko 'yan, 'di ko nga alam eh. Alangan naman sabihin ko alam ko eh hindi ko nga alam?" Gierran, the former head of the National Bureau of Investigation said in a virtual press briefing.

(I admit, what do I know about public health? Of course, I will educate myself. I will study that because I am not familiar with it. Why would I claim knowledge of the matter when I am unfamiliar with it?)

"Hayaan niyo sila 'yung nagko-comment. It's their right," he added, referring to his critics.

Gierran assumed leadership of PhilHealth as the state health insurer faced corruption allegations. 

A seasoned investigator, Gierran replaced former military official Ricardo Morales, who Duterte asked to resign because of health issues. The change in leadership comes as PhilHealth is mired in corruption allegations.

Gierran said he is willing to talk to Morales for "insights" on how to clean up corruption at the agency. He also expressed openness to the advice of medical experts.

"I have to talk to experts. I have to refer to experts to give me inputs. We do not have the monopoly of wisdom," he said.