MANILA - Atty. Dante Gierran on Thursday took his oath as the new president and CEO of state insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).
He was sworn in by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who chairs the board of PhilHealth.
Gierran, who was formerly the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) chief, was appointed as the new PhilHealth chief late August amid allegations of corruption in the state-led insurer even as the country goes through health and economic crises due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He replaced retired Brig. Gen. Ricardo Morales who resigned in August due to his health condition. The former military general disclosed he was undergoing cancer treatment.
President Rodrigo Duterte wants Gierran to "clean up" corruption in the state health insurer by December, Malacañang said Thursday.
Gierran earlier said he would prioritize the reorganization of PhilHealth after allegations that some of the agency's high-ranking officials were involved in the questionable release of COVID-19 funds to dialysis centers, while others were allegedly involved in the overpricing of equipment for the firm's modernization program.
An investigating panel, headed by the Department of Justice, had already recommended for the filing of administrative and criminal charges against Morales and six other PhilHealth officials in relation to the alleged anomalies. Duterte approved the recommendations.
Gierran, who hails from Davao, started as a security guard before working his way up to become a a credit investigator for Manilabank in Davao City.
He eventually graduated with a law and an accounting degrees.
“My job is to restore the trust of the people in the government… I am new. Give me a chance to lead,” Gierran said in an interview early this month.
“Don’t pre-judge me… If I can’t do my job, I’ll tell my principal.”