President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth) chief Ricardo Morales to quit from his post, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Tuesday (August 25).
“The President took note last night of Morales’ on-and-off health situation, and stated that it would be best for the latter and for Philhealth to give up his post during these critical times for the agency,” Guevarra said in a text message.
The Justice Secretary said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea had talked to Morales, who supposedly said he would understand if he needed to be replaced.
Guevarra said he expects Morales to tender his resignation “very soon.”
“We have to find a very good replacement for him ASAP,” he said.
Philhealth is mired in corruption allegations ranging from its misuse of the interim reimbursement mechanism, or advance payments to hospitals, and the existence of an alleged mafia within the state health insurer.
Morales had taken a leave of absence earlier this month amid parallel investigations into Philhealth because he was undergoing chemotherapy. He has denied involvement in any wrongdoing but admitted there is corruption within the agency.
Malacanang previously said Duterte will not fire Morales unless there’s clear proof of his involvement in corruption.