PhilHealth may have violated rules on notices

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Sunday, February 23, 2014


THE Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) based in Davao City may have violated a civil service guideline when it issued a notice to the public against a former employee, an official said.

PhilHealth-Davao issued a notice against Bernadith Ipanag, a former PhilHealth employee whose name, photo, and address was shown in the notices to the public circulated in newspapers, hospitals, and on the company's Facebook page.

In a committee hearing on Friday, February 21, lawyer Marie Faith Presbitero of Civil Service Commission (CSC)-Davao told human rights committee chair Karlo Bello that the notice to the public did not meet the guidelines of CSC, citing that a notice can only be issued when the dismissal or sanction is disciplinary in nature.

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Presbitero added the disciplinary sanction should already be "final and executory" which was not the case for Ipanag.

Ipanag, in a phone interview with Sun.Star Davao on Friday, said the dismissal order that was issued against her for allegedly incurring absences was non-disciplinary in nature and that PhilHealth-Davao should have not issued a notice to the public.

She also said that she has a pending appeal before the CSC-Davao which means that the sanction against her is not yet final and executory.

No Philhealth-Davao representative attended the committee hearing.

Bello set the next hearing on Thursday, February 27, as they will settle the clarification sought by Ipanag on the validity of PhilHealth-Davao's notice to the public.

The issue stemmed from the appeal filed by Ipanag before CSC-Davao Region asking for her reinstatement and payment of back wages from PhilHealth-Davao.

Ipanag, in her affidavit, said she was served with dosmissal order penned by PhilHealth-Davao president Alexander Padilla on January 16, 2014 for allegedly accumulating a total of 40 absences from August to November last year.

Ipanag contested that her absences should not be counted as she filed leave applications. She still took the leave believing that her applications were approved after PhilHealth-Davao vice president Dennis Adre did not act on her leave applications.

The appeal is yet to be resolved.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 23, 2014.

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