After reshuffle, PhilHealth COO Ruben Basa to take over as officer-in-charge – Duque

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) Chief Operating Officer Ruben John Basa will assume the post as the company's officer-in-charge (OIC) as its officials are set to hand in their resignation to President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, June 11.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced this is in an interview on DZMM on Tuesday.

"Yung next in rank yung papalit [bilang] OIC...Malamang si Mr John Basa, yung kasalukuyang chief operating officer (COO) (The next in rank will be the replacement OIC... It till be Mr John Basa, the current chief operating officer)," Duque said.

Aside from serving as PhilHealth's COO, Basa also sits as its executive vice president.

In May 2018, Basa had reported to lawmakers that PhilHealth's reserve fund faced the possibility of running out by 2021 after funds were supposedly diverted to the Department of Health in 2015 under then health secretary Janette Garin.

Basa's new position comes after President Rodrigo Duterte asked PhilHealth acting president Roy Ferrer and board members to submit their courtesy resignation after the government insurance ecomany made payments to a dialysis center for kidney treatments of 'ghost' patients or dead patients.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte would "undoubtedly" accept their resignations.

Meanwhile, Duque assured the public PhilHealth's services would not be affected by the reshuffle and change in leadership.

"Hindi naman hihinto yung kanilang trabaho, hindi naman sila mag-aabsent sa kanilang opisina so tuloy-tuloy ang trabaho (Their work will not stop and they will not stop coming into their officers so the work will continue)," Duque said.

Duterte has offered the post of PhilHealth president and CEO to Dr Jaime T Cruz, who heads a food and beverage company and is also involved in a Filipino-Chinese charity group. Cruz, however, is yet to accept the President's offer.

Duterte said he wanted PhilHealth to start with a "clean slate" as it is tasked to help implement the Universal Health Care Law, a major legislation passed during his term. –

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at