PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has directed the board members of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) to resign from their respective posts in the wake of the reported "ghost" kidney dialysis treatments scandal.
Senator-elect Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go confirmed Duterte's order in a press conference with reporters at Casa Roces in Malacañang compound.
Go said he called PhilHealth acting president Roy Ferrer on Saturday, June 8, to inform him about the President's order.
The PhilHealth board members are Jack Arroyo Jr., Rex Maria Mendoza, Hildegardes Dineros, Celestina Ma. Jude dela Serna, Roberto Salvador Jr., and Joan Cristine Reina Liban-Lareza.
The directive comes even after Duterte said on June 8 that he does not have the "slightest doubt about the integrity and honesty" of Ferrer.
Go explained that Duterte has to let go of Ferrer and other PhilHealth board members because of "command responsibility."
"Inutusan ako ni Presidente na kausapin sila para mag-submit ng courtesy resignation, lahat ng board members ng PhilHealth (I was directed by the President to talk to them to ask them to submit their courtesy resignation, all of the PhilHealth board members)," Go said.
"Si Doc Ferrer is also from Davao. Doctor din po ni Pangulong Duterte. Very honest po ang taong ito. Talagang nalusutan lang po siya ng mga nasa trabaho. Hindi lang nila kinaya. Pero command responsibility," he added.
(Dr. Ferrer is also from Davao. He's also the doctor of President Duterte. He's very honest. It's just that he was unable to control those who are involved in irregularities. They failed to solve it. It'a a command responsibility.) Go's revelation came just hours before Duterte's scheduled meeting with PhilHealth officials at Malacañan Palace on Monday afternoon.
The state-run health insurer lost P154 billion due to fraudulent claims.
Accredited health provider WellMed Dialysis and Laboratory Center in Novaliches, Quezon City has reportedly been filing "ghost" claims for dead patients since 2016.
Go said the President is now scouting for a new PhilHealth chief, who must be "strict" when it comes to release of money to avoid repeat of the bogus claims that caused huge losses to the agency.
"Hindi po katanggap-tanggap ang nangyaring ito (This is not acceptable)," Go said.
"Ang hinahanap niya talagang magiging head, not limited sa doctor. Sabi niya, manager na strikto na kaya niyang pangalagaan ang pera. (He's looking for a head who is not just a doctor. He wants someone who is strict and can take care of money just like a manager)," he added. (SunStar Philippines)