PhilHealth confirms resignation of two of its officials

Published July 24, 2020, 8:50 AM

by Analou de Vera

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on Friday confirmed the resignation of two of its officials.

PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales confirmed this to the Manila Bulletin in a text message.

On Thursday night, a source provided a copy of the letter of resignation of lawyer Thorrsson Montes Keith, an anti-fraud legal officer of PhilHealth.

“Keith was refused a position for which he was not qualified,” said Morales.

The PhilHealth chief also confirmed the resignation of Etrobal Laborte, head executive assistant (HEA) of Morales, saying that Laborte is “leaving for PhD studies.”

The agency has yet to officially receive the letter of resignation of Keith, PhilHealth Spokesperson Shirley Domingo said in a separate text message.

“HEA Laborte has tendered his resignation middle of July, effective end of August to go back to taking his PhD,” said Domingo.

Meanwhile, Corporate Legal Counsel Atty. Roberto Labe Jr. “vehemently denied any news of his resignation.”

To note, a source said on Thursday that three officials of PhilHealth have stepped down from their respective positions due to alleged corruption in the agency, which was discovered during an online meeting.

Based on the letter of resignation of Keith, he wrote to Morales that he was resigning effective August 31.

Keith detailed as reason for his resignation his opposition on the mandatory payment of PhilHealth contributions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) which he deemed as “unconstitutional or not part of the UHC (Universal Health Care) law.”

“It is against my personal values to let the OFWs pay for the spillages of PhilHealth,” wrote Keith.

Keith also cited an alleged unfair job promotion process. “There should be a thorough investigation by an independent agency,” he said.

There is also a delay in his salary and hazard pay, saying that “it started when I investigated officers in PhilHealth,” Keith claimed.

He also claimed that there is a “widespread corruption” in the agency and “many more other reasons” why he quit his position.

Domingo said that any “grievances on promotion, which Atty. Keith applied for, can be resolved” through PhilHealth’s “grievance machinery.”

Any issue about corruption is being taken seriously by PhilHealth, said Domingo.

“The Corporation assures the public that it takes seriously any issue on corruption and asks Atty. Keith to substantiate his accusations so proper procedures can be initiated,” Domingo said.