The House Minority bloc challenged Wednesday (Sept. 2) newly appointed Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) president and chief executive officer Dante Gierran to expose the “deeply entrenched” corruption in the embattled state health insurer in six months’ time.
“We are expecting Atty. Gierran in six months time that he would be able to divulge and expose corruption in PhilHealth,” House Minority Leader and Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. said in a virtual press briefing.
He said while, Gierran fell short of the qualifications as provided by the law, the new PhilHealth Chief should be given the chance to institute reforms in the agency.
“The qualifications ay mukhang hindi nasunod ang batas tungkol dito. (It would appear that the qualifications as set under the law are not complied with.) Ako personally kung sya ay malinis (I, personally, if he is untainted) and he is willing to learn, let him be given a chance if serve to be able to manage PhilHealth,” the opposition House leader said.
Section 14 of Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care Law states that the president and CEO of PhilHealth “must be a Filipino citizen and must have at least seven years of experience in the field of public health, management, finance and health economics or a combination of any of these expertise.”
Gierran is an accountant and lawyer.
Deputy Minority Leader and Iloilo 1st District Rep. Janette Garin said they are expecting Gierran to regularly report to the public on what is happening in the state health insurer.
The former Department of Health Secretary said Gierran should have the “political will” to overhaul and crush down the “snake pit” inside the PhilHealth.
“We are really looking forward for Atty. Gierran, once he is elected by the Board, to come out with concrete report to the people,” she said.
Garin assured Gierran of full support “so that once and for all, PhiHealth will be back in its track.”
Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said he no longer hopes that the change in PhilHealth leadership will yield positive result.
“With the appointment of the new President, i don’t think it will have an impact dun sa malalim na problem diyan sa Philhealth (on the deeply embedded problem in PhilHealth),” he said.