Duterte might keep PhilHealth execs until replacements are found
PhilHealth officials were told to submit their courtesy resignations in light of payments allegedly made for fraudulent kidney treatments.
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Duterte might keep PhilHealth execs until replacements are found
Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - June 16, 2019 - 6:53pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte might not accept the resignation of Philippine Health Insurance Corp. officials until he finds their replacements to avoid a vacuum that may disrupt the operations of the state-run health insurer, an official said Sunday.

Duterte has asked top PhilHealth officials to resign so the agency will have a clean slate while authorities are probing the alleged funding of fraudulent dialysis treatments. 

PhilHealth acting president and chief executive officer Roy Ferrer and board members of the state-run insurer submitted their courtesy resignations last week. 

Asked whether the president has accepted the resignations, Secretary to the Cabinet Karlo Nograles said the president is trying to avoid a vacuum at PhilHealth.

"It's up to the president to make the decision on whether everyone he be removed from their posts or not. The primary consideration of the president is PhilHealth cannot have a vacuum so I think we cannot accept everyone's resignation until their replacements are named," Nograles told Super Radyo dzBB. 

"Otherwise, we would have a vacuum... There might be decisions of the board that we cannot set aside. These decisions cannot be made without the board," he added. 

Nograles could not say whether doctor and businessman Jaime Cruz has accepted the president's offer to become PhilHealth president.

'President angered by these things' 

He said the president would not allow resources intended for health care to go to corruption. 

"The president is worried that while we have universal health care...and we even looked for funds by raising the sin taxes, the efforts will go to waste because of corruption...The president is angered by these things," he said. 

Pressed if PhilHealth officials would also be charged over the funding of dialysis treatments of patients who had already died, Nograles said it would depend on the results of the investigation. 

The investigation is still ongoing. We will know once a case has been filed...There are bodies that have been conducting investigations. These cannot be stopped and the president also has access to the preliminary findings of some of the investigations," he added.

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