Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) interim president Dr. Celestina Dela Serna
QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) interim president Dr. Celestina Dela Serna is asking for President Rodrigo Duterte to hear her side on the reported corruption in the agency.
Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque on Monday, May 7, said President Rodrigo Duterte ordered an investigation into Dela Serna’s travel expenses and allowances for 2017 which amounted to P 627,293.064 based on the Commission on Audit’s (COA) report.
Dela Serna reimbursed from Philhealth over P60,000 for the said travels. She maintained that the reimbursements were reasonable.
“Ako ang magbabayad muna (I will pay for it first) then reimburse it. Kaya sabi ko (That’s why I said), all of these went through the accounting process because its a reimbursement, not a direct disbursement of the corporation and this is for the whole of 2017,” Dela Serna explained.
Dela Serna said she already explained her side to COA with regard to the audit report.
She believes some agency officials are behind the allegations against her probably because of the reforms she has implemented within the agency. She noted that many are questioning her decision to reshuffle 20 of PhilHealth’s regional directors. However, she maintained that she is just following the directive of the President to conduct internal cleansing on the ranks of PhilHealth.
“Kung lumulutang man ito (ay) dahil mayroon akong nasasagasaan. Ganoon yata talaga sa government… kung gagawa ako ng changes, ito (ang) magiging buhay ko which is ito ang nangyayari ngayon sa tingin ko,” Dela Serna lamented.
(This is happening because I may have offended people. Maybe that’s really how it is in government….that if I introduce change, this is how my life will turn out; maybe that’s what’s happening here.)
Meanwhile, Malacañang assured a fair investigation on the matter.
“Talagang bibigyan po ng importansya ang paglilinis sa hanay ng PhilHealth,” Roque said. – Mon Jocson / Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue