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Power struggle rocks PhilHealth.

The ongoing power struggle at Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) has now left the agency with two interim presidents and chief executive officers.

Contrary to Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial's claim that he had already resigned, Dr. Hildegardes Dineros on Tuesday said he was 'involuntarily ousted' but considers himself on a holdover status even as the agency board elected his supposed replacement, Dr. Celestina Dela Serna.

Dineros' statement was in contrast to Ubial's claim on Monday that he had already resigned from his post.

'In the meantime and in the exigency of service, I consider myself on a holdover status and awaiting further orders and instructions from the Office of the President,' Dineros said in a statement.

'Since I accepted and actually discharged my duties as nominated and duly elected interim PCEO, then that was a completed and permanent appointment, which can no longer be withdrawn or revoked as the same is subject only to the confirmation or rejection by President Duterte himself,' he added.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Malacanang had yet to receive Dineros' resignation letter.

The PhilHealth board of directors-chaired by Ubial- 'unanimously voted' for Dr. Celestina Dela Serna, who used to be director for Filipino migrant workers sector, as new interim PCEO during its special meeting last Monday.

'In an unparliamentary move, PhilHealth's ex-officio chair and Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, as board presiding officer, personally moved the PhilHealth Board to withdraw Dr. Dineros' nomination and election as interim president and CEO,' said Dineros, an appointee of President Duterte.

A PhilHealth advisory showed that Dineros submitted his resignation and was accepted by the PhilHealth board during the meeting.

But Dineros came out with a statement after the meeting using the title 'PhilHealth vice chair and interim president and CEO.'

The rift between Ubial and Dineros apparently started when Dineros reassigned and reappointed over 40 officers and personnel of PhilHealth 'in pursuit of enhanced and expedient delivery of services.'

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Apr 11, 2017
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