“I AM scared because number one, I do not know the operation of PhilHealth… I do not know what is public health. I do not know about that.”
So admitted retired National Bureau of Investigation director Dante Gierran wo has been named by President Duterte as Philippine Health Insurance Corp. president and chief executive officer vice the resigned former Brig. Gen. Ricardo Morales who resigned in the wake of a tsunami of allegations of corruption in the government agency amounting to tens of billions of pesos amid the nation’s sufferings wrought by the coronavirus disease pandemic.
He said he did not know what public health is. And yet Gierran accepted the position with a plea to the public: “…I am new. Give me a chance to lead. Don’t pre-judge me… If I can’t do my job, I’ll tell my principal.”
Meanwhile, Section 14 of Republic Act 11223 otherwise known as the Universal Health Care Act states: “President and Chief Executive Officer of PhilHealth. – Upon the recommendation of the Board, the President of the Philippines shall appoint the President and CEO of PhilHealth from the Board’s non-ex officio members: Provided, that the Boad cannot recommend as President and CEO of PhilHealthunless the member is a Filipino citizen and must have at least seven (7) years of experience in the field of public health, management, finance, and health economics or a combination of any of these expertise.” (Underscoring ours)
Was Gierran even named to the PhilHealth Board? Was he recommended by the Board to be PhilHealth president?
Merely procedural, they might scoff.
The more telling argument against his appointment and acceptance of the post is his very admission of ignorance in the field of public health. Contrary to thevery requirement of the position, as mandated by law.
Are we now to believe that the President is above RA 11223?
That the patently unqualified are legally qualified on his say-so?