MANILA President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to ask executives of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to tender their courtesy resignations will allow the state-run agency to start on a clean slate, MalacaAang said on Monday night.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this remark confirming that Duterte indeed asked PhilHealth board members and regional vice presidents to step down amid its reported funding of bogus kidney dialysis treatments.
Senator-elect and Duterte's former aide, Christopher Bong Go was the first to announce on Monday afternoon that the President had asked him to relay his statement to PhilHealth executives.
Panelo said that during his meeting with PhilHealth officials in MalacaAang, Duterte expressed his sadness about the state of affairs of the aforesaid government corporation.
He said that although Duterte still believes in the integrity of PhilHealth Acting President and Chief Executive Officer Roy Ferrer and members of the Board, he felt that their resignation would give the state-run social health insurance firm a clean slate.
While the Chief Executive reiterated his trust to - and has no doubt about - the integrity of PhilHealth Acting President and CEO Dr. Roy Ferrer, as well as the members of the board, he however demanded for their courtesy resignation in order for the corporation to have a clean slate absent any taint of irregularity in rendering services as well as implementing pertinent policies on health, including the Universal Health Care Act, Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo said that Duterte has also directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a full-scale investigation of the alleged irregularities within PhilHealth.
Go, in a separate statement, said that the resignations to be submitted by the officials of Philhealth will first have to be accepted by the President before these could take effect.
He noted that until any action on their courtesy resignations is taken by the President, appointive officials shall continue to report for work and perform their normal duties and responsibilities.
The first-time senator also said that certain plantilla officials will be placed under Office of the President while the investigation is ongoing.
Panelo, meanwhile, assured Filipinos that amid a possible reshuffle at the PhilHealth, its services and operations will continue.
We assure our people that the services of PhilHealth will remain unhampered as operations will continue and will be momentarily run by second-level officials pending the subject investigation, Panelo said.
He also assured that there will be an in-depth study on how the frauds are systematically committed by unscrupulous persons in and out of PhilHealth.
There is zero tolerance on corruption under this Administration. There will be criminal prosecutions of all those involved. No one will be spared, Panelo said.
Earlier, Go said command responsibility should be enough reason for the PhilHealth chief and other executives to step down otherwise they would be fired, eventually.
Kung di nila tatanggapin, I think sisibakin din sila (If they don't accept the resignation, I think they will be fired eventually), Go said.
He believed that Ferrer was an honest person who may have only allowed the alleged irregularities in PhilHealth slip past his scrutiny.
Doc Ferrer is also from Davao, doctor rin po ni Pangulong Duterte at very honest po itong taong to, talagang nalusutan lang po siya ng mga tao na nasa baba eh (he's President Duterte's doctor and a very honest person, I think he was remiss because of people from the ground), Go said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency