Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) senior executives have been asked to submit their courtesy resignation as the “fastest” way to initiate the reorganization of the corruption-tainted State firm, Malacañang said Friday.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the Palace supports the initiative of PhilHealth president Dante Gierran in seeking the courtesy resignation of these PhilHealth officials give his limited time to clean up the state firm.
Gierran, former National Bureau of Investigation chief, was earlier given by President Duterte until December to fix the mess in PhilHealth, including suspend, terminate, and file cases against those involved in irregularities.
“Atty. Gierran knows that he does not have much time. That’s why I think it was important for him to request that all the senior executives to file their courtesy resignation because that’s the fastest way that he can reorganize,” Roque said over CNN Philippines.
“We support this initiative of Atty. Gierran. We’re confident he will have a very good information that will guide him on whose resignation to accept,” he said.
Roque said they also hope Gierran will be guided by the findings of the inquiries made by the Senate as well as the task force led by the Department of Justice.
The task force earlier recommended the filing of administrative and criminal complaints against former PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales and several other high ranking officials over alleged anomalies. The recommendation has been endorsed by the President.
In his televised address Monday night, the President bared plan to ask Congress to abolish PhilHealth as a “surgical move” to address corruption allegations.
Instead of privatizing PhilHealth, Duterte proposed the creation of a new agency to replace the graft-ridden State corporation.
Roque, in his remarks on television, said he also disagreed with the privatization of PhilHealth because it goes against the principle of universal health care.
“Universal health care is distinguished from private health insurance because it is the discharge of state obligation to protect eh right to health,” he said.
“It is a commitment although members would have to pay their dues. In reality, the dues will not be enough and the balance will of course be paid for by government. That’s why i think the concept of privatization is simply antithetical and inconsistent with the concept of universal health care,” he added.
Roque recalled that when he authored the original Universal Health Care bill in Congress, he proposed the creation of the National Health Service to replace PhilHealth. His version of the bill, however, was not included in the final legislation approved by the two houses of Congress.
“All of this could have been avoided if the original version of my bill was followed simply to abolish PhilHealth and replace it with the National Health Service,” he said.