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Another PhilHealth exec quits

Another official of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation has resigned following the allegations of irregularities that the state health insurer has been involved in, an official said Sunday.

PhilHealth spokesman Rey Baleña confirmed the resignation of the unnamed executive in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

"As of late, we announced that 43 had resigned, but one more filed a courtesy resignation, so the total now is 44,” Balena said.

He did not provide details.

Balena made his statement even as Philippine Red Cross Chief Senator Richard Gordon said Sunday it should be PhilHealth that should be investigated for its debt to the non-government organization for the COVID-19 tests it had conducted.

The Red Cross earlier announced it would halt PhilHealth-funded coronavirus testing due to the state insurer's P1 billion in outstanding bills as of Friday.

PhilHealth apologized for the delay in payment, saying it was partly due to the review being conducted amid the corruption probe on the state insurer.

But Gordon on Sunday warned PhilHealth officials against speaking ill of the Philippine Red Cross amid a supposed investigation by the state insurer.

PhilHealth earlier said that, as of Oct. 8, 43 senior officers had resigned after its chief executive Dante Gierran issued a Sept. 30 memo implementing a 2019 board resolution directing all senior officers from Salary Grade 26 and above to tender their courtesy resignations.

Of the 43 officers, 27 tendered their courtesy resignations, and of those 21 were from the central office and six from the regional offices.

Meanwhile, 16 officers are retiring, and 10 of them are from the central office and six from the regional offices.

Baleña, however, says the courtesy resignations will only take effect once Gierran accepts them.

"May isang buwan si Atty. Gierran para aksiyonan ang nasabing mga courtesy resignation," Balena said.

He says Gierran's appointment as the new PhilHealth chief is a "morale booster" to the employees at the state health insurer.

"'Yung mga aksiyon nitong nakaraan ni Atty. Gierran ay dagdag na morale booster sa hanay ng mga empleyado," he said.

"Kamakailan nga, nagpatupad na siya ng rotation ng mga regional vice presidents, bahagi na 'yan. Kamakailan ay in-order na rin niya ang mga regional vice presidents na i-profile ang lahat ng mga ospital, pasilidad at mga healthcare professionals. Bahagi na ito, nagsisimula na itong mga anti-fraud measures na bahagi ng kaniyang programa.”

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered the filing of charges against former PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales and other officials linked by an inter-agency task force to the irregularities in the Interim Reimbursement Mechanism, the procurement of ICT equipment, and policy for accountability.

Resigned PhilHealth anti-fraud officer Thorsson Montes Keith has claimed that the PhilHealth "mafia," composed of the executive committee, stole some P15 billion through fraudulent schemes, including those involving the IRM.

PhilHealth in a statement denied the allegations.

Topics: Philippine Health Insurance Corporation , Rodrigo Duterte , Philippine Red Cross , Richard Gordon , COVID-19
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