Palace: Exit of PhilHealth senior execs 'a step in right direction'

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 09 2020 03:10 PM

MANILA— The resignation and retirement of 43 senior officers of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp (PhilHealth) was "a step in the right direction," Malacañang said Friday. 

The development came after PhilHealth President and CEO Dante Gieran implemented a board resolution for all senior officers from Salary Grade 26 and above to tender their courtesy resignation as corruption allegations hounded the agency.

Gierran's predecessor Ricardo Morales "blatantly failed to carry out" this resolution, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. 

"We commend PhilHealth PCEO Gierran for his display of decisiveness," Roque said in a statement. 

"We consider this latest development in PhilHealth a step in the right direction as this is in line with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to reorganize the state health insurer, make erring officials accountable and give the agency a fresh start," he added. 

A Senate panel in September recommended the filing of criminal charges against Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, chairman of the PhilHealth board, and several former and incumbent officials of the insurer over alleged anomalies. 

Whistleblowers told lawmakers that several PhilHealth officials allegedly pocketed P15 billion in state funds, and approved the request of overpriced projects and fund release to supposedly favored hospitals.