The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday welcomed the appointment of Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. as acting president and chief executive officer of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
At a press briefing, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said Ledesma had the qualifications for the post given his management and governance experience.
“It would always be the prerogative of the President who he appoints. Based on qualifications, tinignan naman natin ang kanyang credentials,” Vergeire said.
“PhilHealth, it’s like any other agency but of course, you need to have the technical know-how, especially on financing actuary, insurance systems, but part of the work would always be managerial. Because you are going to oversee and guide the entire organization on delivering the objectives of your mandate,” she added.
Vergeire said they will also set a meeting on Monday with Ledesma and the rest of the PhilHealth officials.
“So we will wait, but the direction in PhilHealth, that would be one of the guidance we will give to Ledesma to continue on and to facilitate that we have these reforms be expedited,” she said.
“The expansion of outpatient our benefit packages, katulad ng comprehensive outpatient benefit packages which we have been trying to expand since we started this function as OIC. Meron din specific packages like mental health packages at dati pang ginagawa. Kailangan din tignan ung payment system of PhilHealth,” she added.
Vergeire said in support of the President’s directive, there would be a third-party assessment to better evaluate and determine the weaknesses of the agency’s system to further improve.
According to the Palace, Ledesma took his oath on Thursday, November 24. He is also a member of the expert panel and board of directors.
Ledesma previously served as president and CEO of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation.
Meanwhile, Dr. Eric Tayag, who was appointed as DOH undersecretary under the Marcos administration, also assumed his position and took his oath last week, according to Vergeire.
Vergeire said Tayag was assigned to the DOH’s field implementation coordination team in the Northern Luzon area.
“He was assigned to our field implementation coordination team and he is in charge of our Northern Luzon area. This Northern Luzon will comprise CAR, Regions 1, 2, 3. And he is in charge of overseeing the operations of our hospitals, treatment and rehab centers, and our regional offices,” Vergeire said.
Tayag had served in the DOH as Assistant Secretary. — DVM, GMA Integrated News