A SNOWBALLING move to designate the head of the Department of Finance (DOF) as chair of the board of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is drawing more adherents.
At present, the secretary of the Department of Health (DOH) heads the Board of Directors of PhilHealth, a tax-exempt corporation set up in 1995 to implement universal health coverage in the country.
Note that the health department has expressed its support for Senate Bill (SB) 1829 , which proposes that the DOF secretary, instead of the DOH head, be made chairman of the powerful board.
SB 1829, together with other proposed health measures, was discussed during last Monday’s public hearing conducted by the Senate committee on health under Sen. Christopher “Bong” T. Go.
The DOH said the proposed law will strengthen fiscal management measures that shall be made possible through a chairmanship by the secretary of the finance department.
Senator Go, chief architect of the country’s chain of Malasakit Centers across the country concurred, saying it’s probably high time to have the DOF top honcho take the helm of the PhilHealth board.
A close friend of President Rodrigo Duterte, Go said DOF Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III himself vowed to go after all corrupt individuals within and outside PhilHealth should he become board chair.
He also quoted Secretary Dominguez as saying that there’s certainly a need to review the powers and authority of the chairman of the PhilHealth board to make him/her more effective.
A welcome move, the filing of SB 1829 is seen to address the problems confronting PhilHealth, which is now headed by lawyer/certified public accountant Dante A. Gierran.
Thus the two-chamber Congress ought to hasten the approval of the proposed piece of legislation as the end of the six-year administration of hard-hitting President Duterte fast approaches.