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CA Rejects Dr. Paulyn Ubial

Dr. Paulyn Ubial

The Commission on Appointments (CA) yesterday rejected the appointment of Dr. Paulyn Ubial as Department of Health (DOH) Secretary.  In the previous confirmation hearings, Dr. Ubial was bypassed and upon the third hearing, this amounts to rejected by the CA.

Senator Gregorio Honasan II, chair of the CA health committee announced that the CA is “withholding its consent” to the ad-interim appointment of Dr. Ubial. This was after an hour wherein Dr. Ubial was questioned by members of the CA regarding several issues.

These issues were the withholding of allowances and bonuses to Philhealth employees, the leadership concerns of Philhealth, and Philhealth operating at a deficit.

Dr. Ubial stated that the withholding of said bonuses and allowances were as per the Commission on Audit (CoA) findings. The withholding resulted in the demoralization of 150 employees in Philhealth.

Also, Representative Josephine Ramirez-Sato pointed out that Philhealth is already operating at a deficit of Php13 billion.

The appointment of a Philhealth head has not been confirmed and has had 3 OICs in a row since the start of the Duterte administration.

Dr. Ubial was a career DOH officer CESO III having served as Assistant Secretary for  Health Regulations from 2008 to 2016 prior to being appointed as DOH Secretary by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Dr. Ubial was instrumental in the formulation and implementation of Executive Order No. 26 that imposed the nation-wide smoking ban.

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