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Palace: Prez Duterte favors appointing Finace secretary as PhilHealth chair

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senator Christopher Go, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, and House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Gomez Romualdez during a meeting at the Malago Clubhouse in MalacaƱang on September 16, 2020. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte showed a ‘favorable reaction’ on the proposal to transfer the chairmanship of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) from the Health Secretary to the Finance Secretary.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Thursday, September 17, that the President will respect the decision of Congress to amend Republic Act No. 11223, also known as the Universal Health Care Act.

It really is the call of the legislative branch of government,” Roque said during an online press briefing.

PhilHealth was created pursuant to law, amended by the Universal Healthcare Law and it depends on the wisdom of Congress, if they feel that the legislative basis for the existence of PhilHealth should be amended, so be it,” he added.

Roque sees the logic in appointing the Finance secretary as chairperson of the PhilHealth Board since the agency should be run similar to an insurance company.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed Senate Bill No. 1829, which seeks to name the Finance secretary as the chairperson of the PhilHealth Board of Directors.

Sotto filed the measure amidst allegations of corruption against PhilHealth.

In his explanatory note, the senator said that the Finance secretary should chair the PhilHealth Board because the law mandates the state-owned health insurance firm ‘to have a sustainable fund management to ensure the continuous delivery of health care services’.

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