MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte appointed former Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) acting president Roy Ferrer to a new post as an assistant secretary of the Department of Health.
Ferrer, whose name appeared in a list of new presidential appointees sent by Malacañang to media on Monday, February 17, is assigned the new role months after he was made to resign following Wellmed Dialysis Center’s fraudulent claims to PhilHealth.
Duterte earlier asked Ferrer and PhilHealth’s board members at the time to hand in their courtesy resignations, citing “command responsibility” over the fraudulent scheme. (READ: Another PhilHealth acting president accused of corruption)
Despite this, Duterte vouched for Ferrer’s integrity, saying he did not doubt his honesty.
Ferrer was first appointed PhilHealth’s acting president and chief executive officer in June 2018, after Rappler reported that his predecessor, Celestina Ma Jude de la Serna, spent over P600,000 in travel expenses amid the government health insurance company’s billions in net loss in 2017.
Before that, he was appointed as a member of PhilHealth’s board of directors in February 2017.
Ferrer’s stint as PhilHealth’s acting president was not without controversy.
During his term as PhilHealth acting president, 12 employees filed a case against him in October 2018 for allegedly violating the Code of Conduct of Public Officials. The employees claimed Ferrer failed to divest from businesses that engaged with the government’s health insurance program.
The 12 employees likewise said Ferrer earned some P604,080 in professional fees from March 2017 to June 2018 while also receiving about P1.55 million in salaries and allowances since 2017.
Ferrer denied the allegations and welcomed the complaint, saying he had nothing to hide.
Ferrer’s appointment is the latest in a list of appointees recycled by Duterte. (LIST: No to corruption? Duterte’s controversial reappointees) – Rappler.com