Ex-NBI director Gierran named new PhilHealth chief

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte appointed former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) director Dante Gierran as new president and chief executive officer of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Duterte formally announced the appointment of Gierran to replace resigned PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales after meeting the core members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) in Malacañang on Monday.

Gierran, according to Duterte, is a lawyer and a certified public accountant who was former NBI regional director for Davao before he was appointed NBI director in 2016.

Duterte ordered Gierran to implement a major revamp and send those involved in the corruption to jail.

“Ang sabi ko sa kanya (I told Gierran), the next two years will be devoted in the fight against corruption. Maghanap kayo ng mapakulong natin (Find them and send to jail),” Duterte ordered Gierran who was present during the meeting.

He also ordered Gierran to remove all the PhilHealth regional vice presidents “whether 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 enter the picture. Kung matagal na tanggalin na. Kung ayaw magpatanggal, magreport kayo dito sa opisina (If they served for so long a time, remove them. If they refused to be replaced, you report to my office),” Duterte told Gierran.

Duterte said Justice Secretary Menard Guevarra is winding up the investigation of a task force formed to look into the allegations of corruption at PhilHealth.

“I think he (Guevarra) has seen proof enough to come up with indictment. I hope this sad episode in our nation life, in our journey towards nation building will be somehow corrected,” Duterte said.

Gierran thanked Duterte for his new assignment and vowed to restore people’s confidence in PhilHealth.

After watching the Senate and the House of Representatives investigations, Gierran said he was “aghast” about the sorry state of the Philippine due to corruption “here and there”.

“All I have to do is to restore the trust and confidence of our people to PhilHealth,” Gierran said. “Senator Bong Go was telling I have to strike the balance between improving the services to the people and addressing the perennial issues of corruption in the PhilHealth.”

He described his new assignment as “huge mission” but as a good soldier “I’m the one (who) would not back out.” (PNA)