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A huge mission

WITH only 22 months left in his administration, President Rodrigo Duterte, a known graft-buster, has not shown any sign of backing off from his commitment to rid the country of corrupt public servants.

In fact, the remaining days of the six-year Duterte presidency, which ends at 12 noon on June 30, 2022, will be devoted to the fight against graft and corruption in government offices and agencies.

That’s why the tough-talking Chief Executive told the new president of the scandal-rocked Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) “na maghanap kayo ng mga mapakukulong natin.”

Last Monday, Duterte named ex-National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran, a lawyer and a certified public accountant, as president and chief executive officer of PhilHealth.

Following Duterte’s advice, PhilHealth President Ricardo Morales, a retired armygeneral, resigned while Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra is investigating alleged corruption at PhilHealth.

President Duterte also ordered Gierran to remove all the regional vice presidents of the state insurance firm “whether they are performing at par or in parity with the good ones.”

“You know if they are there for so long a time, the element of familiarity always enters the picture. Kung matagal na, tanggalin na. Kung ayaw magpatanggal, mag-report kayo dito sa opisina,” said Duterte.

Describing his assignment as “a huge mission,” Gierran said that “all I have to do is restore the trust and confidence of our people to the PhilHealth,” which implements universal health coverage in the country.

Without doubt, the Filipino people, particularly the poorest of the poor not only in the metropolis but elsewhere, support the ongoing investigation at the PhilHealth, which is under the Department of Health.

It’s a move in the right direction.