DOH chief denies ex-PhilHealth head’s accusation that he was ‘involuntarily ousted’

MANILA-- Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Ubial on Tuesday maintained that Dr. Hildegardes Dineros was not forced to resign as interim president and CEO (PCEO) of PhilHealth.

"He (Dineros) resigned. When we were electing his replacement, he voted for (Dr. Celestina) dela Serna. So where was the involuntariness there? He acted on his free will," said Ubial as she narrated how the resignation took place on Monday.

Newly elected interim PCEO dela Serna was unanimously voted in a special board meeting on the same day Dineros resigned.

De la Serna was the appointive member of the PhilHealth Board representing overseas Filipino migrant workers. She obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree from the De la Salle University in DasmariAas, Cavite in 1989. She worked at the De la Serna Clinic, a private health clinic based in Bohol province, from 2002 to 2003, before becoming the chief of the Maribojoc Community Hospital for two years. She also served as chief of the Cong. Natalio P. Castillo Sr. Memorial Hospital, also in Bohol. She has practical experience in hospital, emergency, home health and primary care.

Present at the board meeting was PhilHealth's ex-officio chairperson Ubial.

Dineros has accused Ubial of personally moving the PhilHealth Board to withdraw his nomination and election as interim PCEO.

"Secretary Ubial wanted me to become a 'team player' but doing so would put on hold, if not altogether stop, my reform agenda, as well as anti-corruption program, which I did not agree with nor will I ever agree to," Dineros said in a statement after he was replaced in the unanimous vote.

He added that he considers himself on hold-over status and awaiting further orders and instructions from the Office of the President.

Dineros' resignation came after Ubial issued a memo to correct his actions, especially on the reassignment of 40 PhilHealth personnel.

Ubial has also questioned Dineros' authority to make appointments, or even reshuffle the staff of PhilHealth, citing that an OIC has no proper authority "to appoint or fill up vacancies, exercise power to discipline, temporarily or permanently designate, transfer or reassign personnel".

"I asked him, Dr. Dineros, do you know that you are not authorized to reassign or detail people? He said, 'Yes.' Then he resigned," the health chief said.

Source: Philippines News Agency