Duterte asks PhilHealth officials to submit courtesy resignations
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night ordered officials of PhilHealth to submit their courtesy resignation following the reports of alleged billions of pesos worth of “ghost dialysis” claims being paid by the state agency.
“He (Duterte) reiterated his trust on the integrity of the President of PhilHealth Dr. Roy Ferrer as well as the members of the board but he said he needs a clean slate so that the investigation will proceed and not be influence,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
Panelo said the president directed the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct a full-scale investigation on the alleged irregularities concerning the past practices of PhilHealth.
During his meeting with PhilHealth officials, Duterte expressed his sadness about the state of affairs of the government corporation,” Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
Asked if the president will accept their resignation, Panelo said it will be accepted “undoubtedly”.
“They thanked the president for giving the opportunity to serve and they also appreciated that the resignations is not based on the fact that the president mistrust them,” he added.
He said Duterte even mentioned that if the investigation turns out well and the allegation were found false, the said officials may be appointed again or be given another position.
“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 in a statement.
“There is zero tolerance on corruption under this Administration. There will be an in-depth study on how the frauds are systematically committed by unscrupulous persons in and out of PhilHealth. There will be criminal prosecutions of all those involved. No one will be spared,” he added.
Meanwhile, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said the resignations to be submitted by the officials of Philhealth have to be accepted by the President first before it takes effect.
“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,” he said.
“Certain plantilla officials will be placed under OP ( Office of the President) while the investigation is ongoing,” said Go.
It was also the senator who confirmed that Duterte is eyeing Jaime Cruz as the replacement of Ferrer.
Reports said Cruz is the CEO of the JTC Group of Companies, owner of Dohtonbori restaurant and a board member of the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association Inc (PCCAI), owned and operated by the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center.
Cruz has yet to accept the president’s offer. Ella Dionisio/DMS