Duque names PhilHealth EVP John Basa as OIC for embattled agency

By Analou De Vera 

Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) Executive Vice President John Basa will serve as the officer-in-charge (OIC) of the agency, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN) Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN)

"Ang utos ni Pangulo ay give it to the next in rank. Ang next in rank ni Dr. (Roy) Ferrer ay si Mr. John Basa, na nasa Amerika. Darating palang sa Lunes," said the health chief during a television interview on Wednesday.

This after President Duterte instructed the agency's acting president, Dr. Ferrer, and six other members of the board to submit their courtesy resignation amid the "ghost dialysis" issue.

In a press conference on Tuesday, the health chief said that President Duterte wanted to have a "clean slate" on the state health insurance firm.

"He would like to study the challenges confronting PhilHealth and he is contemplating on bringing in experts from SGV to help audit the operating systems and management systems of PhilHealth; giving himself 10 days to mull over what he thinks what might have caused the problem," said Duque.

Duque appealed to the public and healthcare providers to help in preventing the fraudulent claims that involves the PhilHealth fund.

"Ang PhilHealth ay hindi lamang sa iilang tao, ito ay para sa buong Pilipinas, para sa sambayanang Pilipino. Huwag bastusin, huwag pagsamantalahin ang magagandang programa ng gobyerno dahil sa huli tayo rin ang kawawa, tayo rin ang talo," he said.