By Arjay L. Balinbin, Reporter
MALACAÑANG ON Monday, June 4, announced that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has approved the nomination of Dr. Roy B. Ferrer as Acting President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth).
In a letter dated June 1, Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea communicated to the Board of Directors (BoD) of the agency confirming Mr. Duterte’s approval of Mr. Ferrer’s nomination.
Mr. Medialdea’s letter was released on June 4.
Mr. Ferrer, a doctor from Davao City, is also one of the appointive directors of Philhealth, according to his biographical details posted on Philhealth’s Web site.
His first appointment to Philhealth’s BoD was on Jan. 27 in 2017. The official is taking over the position of Dr. Celestina Ma. Jude de la Serna.
The Commission on Audit (CoA) had earlier flagged Ms. dela Serna’s P627,000 travel expenses.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. said last month it was looking into the alleged multi-billion peso losses of the agency, including Ms. dela Serna’s travels.
In a statement, Mr. Ferrer confirmed that he was “chosen to become [Philhealth’s] Acting CEO replacing [Ms.] dela Serna.”
He also appealed to the media to “make [things] lighter” for him. “I will do my best to be an effective public servant and to carry out the mandate of Philhealth and PRRD given me,” he said.
For his part, Senate health committee chair Senator Joseph Victor G. Ejercito said: “[I have] been requesting that the President appoint a financial expert with actuarial knowledge as PhilHealth means management of funds. With PhilHealth’s current situation, and not to undermine capabilities of doctors, we really need a financial wiz to fix all its troubles!”
The lawmaker also said he is “hoping that the Office of the President (OP) and the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) will “continue to search for a permanent PhilHealth President and OIC with financial and actuarial expertise.”