Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said he “strongly supports” the proposal to designate Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III as the new ex-officio chairman of the embattled Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

“Considering the urgent need to ensure that the Board implements efficient fund management for PhilHealth, we welcome the proposal to strengthen fiscal management measures that should be made possible through chairmanship by the Secretary of Finance,” said Duque, the current chairman of the PhilHealth Board.

Duque added that through this, “PhilHealth will effectively deliver the mandate of the Universal Health Care Act.”

Vowing that he will serve in his best capability should the proposal realizes amid an already “overwhelming” workload for him, Dominguez said: “The Secretary of Finance sits on about a hundred boards and committees, and really the task of this job is overwhelming. Definitely, time allocation and time management will be very difficult. However, if that is the wish of the legislature, we have no choice but to implement it.”

On September 14, Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed Senate Bill No. 1829, which replaces the health secretary with the finance secretary as ex-officio chairperson of the PhilHealth board of directors. Sotto said that President Rodrigo Duterte “agrees” with his proposal.

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