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Gierran says he will consult public health experts

Newly-appointed Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) president and CEO Dante Gierran said Thursday that he will consult experts following his admission that he lacks expertise in public health.

Gierran's qualification for the top PhilHealth post has been questioned due to his admitted lack of health expertise, but both Malacañang and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra have defended his appointment, saying his legal, accounting and administrative abilities make him fit for the position.

The former National Bureau of Investigation director said his critics have the right to comment on his qualifications.

"I admit, ano bang alam ko sa public health? Of course, aaralin ko 'yan... aaralin ko 'yan, 'di ko alam eh. Alangan naman sabihin ko na alam ko na di ko alam," he said at the Laging Handa briefing.

"I'll have to talk to experts, I'll have to refer to the experts to give me inputs. We don't have the monopoly of wisdom. Just like other people need me, I also need them," he added.

He said he will talk to resigned PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales to get insights.

Under the Universal Healthcare Law, the PhilHealth president must have at least seven years of experience in the field of public health, management, finance, and health economics or a combination of any of these expertise.

Gierran is a lawyer, certified public accountant, and a longtime investigator with the NBI. He headed the bureau's Davao Region office before President Rodrigo Duterte appointed him as director. He retired last February.

He takes over PhilHealth while the state insurer faces allegations of corruption involving billions of pesos in public funds.

He has vowed to eradicate corruption in the corporation as ordered by Duterte. —KBK, GMA News