Comelec OKs request to transfer ‘incompetent’ PhilHealth officials

Comelec OKs request to transfer �incompetent� PhilHealth officials

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections has approved the request of Health Secretary Ted Herbosa to reassign seven Philippine Health Insurance Corporation officials due to "loss of confidence."

A Comelec memorandum that details the transfer of the government officials indicated that the PhilHealth board has expressed its "loss of confidence" in the seven executive committee members due to their "observed incompetence, gross negligence, and ineffective leadership” which has "directly and adversely impacted" the state health insurer.

The October 16 memorandum, which was signed by Comelec Chairperson George Garcia, also states that the transfer falls under the exemptions in the Omnibus Election Code, which prohibits the transfer of government employees during the current Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE).

Comelec has allowed the PhilHealth Board of Directors, which Herbosa is a chairperson of, to reassign the members from August 28 to November 29 this year in connection to the BSKE.

The PhilHealth officials who were named in the request for transfer were Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Eli Dino Santos, ASVP Nerissa Santiago, SVP Jovita Aragona, SVP Renato Limsiaco, SVP Jose Mari Tolentino, SVP Dennis Mas, and SVP Israel Francis Pargas.

A letter approved by Herbosa said that PhilHealth has also been “facing critical operation needs.” 

The DOH chief told senators during a hearing on his confirmation of appointment last month that he is seeking the help of Congress in firing corrupt individuals within the ranks of the state insurer.

On October 10, hackers breached the PhilHealth database and reportedly stole the personal data of millions of its members. 

Reports of the hacking incident were initially downplayed by the state health insurer before the National Privacy Commission bared that at least 700 GB of stolen data contained "sensitive personal data." — Cristina Chi

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