Sacked Dela Serna remains as PhilHealth board member—Palace
Former Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) interim head Celestina Ma. Jude dela Serna remains to be a board member of the agency, Malacañang said on Tuesday, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte fired her over alleged excessive trips and allowances.
“Yes she is,” Roque said in a text message when asked if Dela Serna was still part of the state health insurer.
Dela Serna remains to be a board member representing the overseas Filipino workers sector of PhilHealth.
On Monday, Malacañang announced the appointment of Dr. Roy Ferrer, a board member of PhilHealth who hails from Davao City, as acting President and Chief Executive Officer of PhilHealth.
A Commission on Audit memorandum released on April showed that Dela Serna incurred travel expenses, including hotel accommodations and plane fares to and from Bohol and Manila.
In a radio dwFM interview on Tuesday, Roque confirmed that Dela Serna was removed due to her alleged excessive trips and allowances.
“Well, kasama na po diyan iyan. Siguro iyong 3,800 a day na hotel niya na habang siya ay OIC ay pinabayaan niyang nagbayad ang PhilHealth at saka iyong lugi na nakamit ng PhilHealth,” he said.
(It is already included there. Probably the P3,800 per day in the hotel she spent while she was still OIC and that she allowed PhilHealth to spend for it while PhilHealth is suffering deficit.)
The Palace official said the firing of Dela Serna was a reminder to government officials not to abuse their powers.
“Well, ganyan po talaga ang mensahe ng ating Presidente at kung tatanungin n’yo po ang mga taga-Davao, napakalakas po niyang OIC (Dela Serna) na iyan, kaya naman siguro umabuso ‘no,” he said.
(That is the message of our President and if you’ll ask the people from Davao, this OIC [Dela Serna] is very influential, so maybe she has become abusive.)
“Pero gaya ng sinasabi ng Presidente, kung sino pa ang malapit sa kanya, kung sino pa ang tunay na malakas, sila pa ang umaabuso sa kapangyarihan at kaya naman siya ay sinibak ni Presidente,” he added.
(But just like what the President said, whoever is close to him, whoever is perceived influential, they are the ones who are abusing authority so that is why they are being fired by the President.) /jpv
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