Health Care

CA rejects Ubial as DOH secretary

The decision was reached in an executive session.

Senator Gregorio Honasan II, chairman of the commission's health committee, said the panel had reached "a hard decision" to reject Ubial's appointment, with 13 members voting against her confirmation. Ubial has been caught changing her stance on major health issues, such as the dengue vaccine, the status of the Zika virus in the country, and recently, the number of evacuees who died of health-related causes in Marawi City.

During the third and last hearing on her confirmation, there were two new oppositors who spoke against Ubial namely former PhilHealth officer-in-charge Dr. Hildegardes Dineros and a certain Ma. "It's a process which must be respected", Honasan said.

Ubial, however, insisted that Dineros resigned and that there were board members ready to submit a statement of confirmation on what happened in the board meeting. He said it was a "difficult decision" for the commission to "withhold consent to the ad interim appointment" of Ubial.

"We are deeply grateful for Secretary Ubial's service to the Health Department and for epitomizing the President's compassion through her "All for Health, towards Health for All" Philippine Health Agenda", Abella added.

Ubial, in response, said she was only following the Commission on Audit (COA)'s notice of disallowance on the allowances and benefits given to PhilHealth officials and employees. (PhilHealth) employee Marie Fe Francisco.

During the hearing, Senator Manny Pacquiao also questioned Ubial over a social media post by her son, which criticized the senator.

"Siguro pagsabihan natin si Karl na you're doing your job in the DOH, tapos may mga comment na masama doon sa ibang lider ng bansa, especially sa administration".

In a statement, Malacañang said it regrets the "non-confirmation". They all accused Ubial of corruption and incompetence. He also complained about Ubial's "excessive foreign travels" in her first few months in office.

In her defense, Ubial pointed out that Malacanang Palace had approved such travels and that her family personally paid for the travel expenses of the family members.

Lawmakers on Tuesday rejected the appointment of Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, who has worked in the public health system for almost three decades.

Ubial said she had spoken to her son, who was willing to make a public apology.

After the rejection, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman, Ernesto Abella, expressed regret over the congressional commission's decision.



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