Ejercito welcomes Duterte’s decision to designate a new PhilHealth head

Published June 4, 2018, 8:06 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito on Monday welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to designate a new head for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation or PhilHealth.

MB FILE- Senator JV Ejercito (Tony Pionilla / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator JV Ejercito
(Tony Pionilla / MANILA BULLETIN)

Ejercito made the statement after Duterte informed his Cabinet officials about his decision to remove PhilHealth interim head Celestina Ma. Dela Serna while on an official trip to South Korea.

Dela Serna is now under investigation over allegations of excessive trips and frequent stays in hotels.

The Senate health and demography committee chief said he hopes that the President would designate a permanent PhilHealth chief, one that has financial and actual expertise.

“Been requesting that the President appoint a financial expert with actuarial knowledge as PhilHealth means management of funds. With PhilHealth’s current situation, we really need a financial wiz to fix all its troubles,” Ejercito said in a text message.

“Not to undermine the capabilities of doctors but we really need a financial expert at this point,” Ejercito added.

“Seriously, PhilHealth is in bad financial shape that we need a financial wiz now!” he said.

Ejercito earlier expressed concern over the depletion of PhilHealth funds due to mismanagement and funneling of P10.6-billion of its fund to the Department of Health (DOH).

Duterte has appointed Dr. Roy Ferrer, a board member of PhilHealth to replace Dela Serna. Ferrer also hails from Davao City.

The senator said the government should still pursue charges against Dela Serna even after she was fired from PhilHealth.

“Not only Dela Serna, but all the past officials—(former Department of Health chief Janette) Garin and (former PhilHealth chairman Alex) Padilla who were responsible for mismanaging the funds resulting in its current sorry financial state right now,” he said.