Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Ubial rejected as Health chief

Ubial rejected as Health chief

"We regret the Commission on Appointments' non-confirmation of Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial", Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

Sen. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan II, CA Health panel chair, said the committee reviewed voluminous documents and heard the testimony of Ubial before it reached a "difficult decision".

"The motion to disapprove the ad interim appointment of Ms. Paulyn G. Ubial as Secretary of the Department of Health is hereby approved", Pimentel said.

THE Commission on Appointments on Tuesday rejected the appointment of Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, who became the fifth member of President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet to fail to win confirmation. But Ubial, in an interview before the announcement, said she would accept the CA decision.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III earlier grilled Ubial regarding allegations that "she recorded a significant number of foreign and domestic trips in her short period in office and that in some instances, she brought along members of her family".

"Secretary Ubial repeatedly claimed that I was not ousted but in fact resigned as PhilHealth president and CEO".

Francisco claimed that Ubial committed "grave abuse of power and usurpation of authority". "Change the procedures or I will change you", he declared then.

Ubial on Tuesday said she had no idea what led to her rejection but said she respected the appointments body's decision.

Ubial was not present during the CA plenary session and reportedly left the Senate premises.

Abella extended the government's gratitude to Ubial for her service to the nation and wished her well in her future endeavors.

Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque, Dr. Potenciano Malvar and lawyer Restituto Mendoza, in previous hearings accused Ubial of corruption and incompetence. She joins former Foreign Affairs Secretary Pefecto Yasay, Environment Secretary Gina Lopez, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, and Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael "Paeng" Mariano.

Ubial was bypassed late a year ago after Roque raised concerns over her qualifications for the post.

"The success of universal health care and all other health reforms of the administration lies in the hands of the next DoH secretary".

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