Guevarra: Gierran a good administrator, qualified as PhilHealth CEO
This file photo shows Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.
File photo

Guevarra: Gierran a good administrator, qualified as PhilHealth CEO

(Philstar.com) - September 2, 2020 - 1:41pm

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra defended the appointment of former National Bureau of Investigation chief Dante Gierran to lead the embattled Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) Corp.

Gierran, a certified public accountant and lawyer, on Tuesday admitted he has no prior knowledge or experience in public health or how the state insurer operates. He however asked the public to give him “a chance to lead.”

Guevarra said that personnel and officers of the NBI, an attached agency of the Department of Justice, spoke highly of Gierran’s administrative skills.

“PhilHealth is an insurance provider more than a health care institution. So Attorney Gierran’s lack of health expertise does not make him less qualified for the top executive position in the corporation,” the DOJ chief explained.

Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act provides that the president shall appoint the CEO of PhilHealth following a recommendation of the state insurer’s board. A PhilHealth president may be recommended if he or she has “at least seven years of experience in the field of public health, management, finance and health economics or a combination of any of these expertises.”

Gierran is taking over the post vacated by retired BGen. Ricardo Morales who quit his post citing health reasons amid a health crisis and an ongoing probe into the corruption allegations and anomalies surrounding the state insurer.

Duterte appointed Gierran as head of NBI in 2016, a post he held until he retired in February 2020. He served the bureau for almost three decades, rising from the ranks as an NBI line agent in 1990.

Prior to joining the bureau, Gierran served as a credit investigator/accountant in Davao City for 11 years, according to a profile published by the Rotary Club of Manila.

Guevarra meanwhile is leading the inter-agency and high-level task force investigating PhilHealth. The panel aims to submit a report of their findings to Duterte on September 14. — Kristine Joy Patag

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