“Binasa mo ba ang batas, ha?” — DDS lawyer to Etta Rosales mocking appointment of new Philhealth chief

The designation of former NBI Director Dante Gierran as the new PhilHealth Chief has been met with ridicule and harsh criticism from the critics of the Duterte administration.

Etta Rosales, Chairman Emeritus of the leftist group Akbayan compared the appointment of Gierran to President Duterte hiring a driver who does not know how to drive. Rosales added that for sure it’s a disaster waiting to happen and a headache for the government.

Rosales’ remarks did not please Atty. Nick Nañgit, a staunch Duterte supporter on socmed, who wasted no time in lecturing Rosales, a former partylist representative, the finer points of the law regarding the appointment of the Philhealth Chief.

Atty. Nick opened the rant este lecture by calling Rosales an old activist who blabbers without doing any good or benefit. ‘Etong mashondang aktibistang Etta Rosales ay ngumangakngak nang walang kapararakan!’

Atty. Nick wondered if Rosales really read the law specifically Section 14 of RA No. 11223 aka Universal Health Care Act because it is very clear that HEALTH experience is not a must to become a Philhealth chief.

Atty. Nick discussed the choices of experience/expertise a Philhealth chief must have or a combination of these expertise: PUBLIC HEALTH, MANAGEMENT, FINANCE, and HEALTH ECONOMICS. Atty. Nick noted that Rosales understanding of the law is already an epic fail because the law does not just say “HEALTH” but public health or health economics.

Atty. Nick added that any of the 4 expertise will do but having more than one expertise or a combination is also welcomed.

On the question whether Gierran met the 7 year experience in any of the expertise mentioned above to qualify as the Philhealth chief, Atty. Nick mentioned that it has come to his attention that Gierran has 11 years experience in the banking industry so that means, the new Philhealth chief is qualified for the job.

Another point raised by Atty. Nick debunking Etta Rosales argument that the Philhealth chief must be an expert in health is the fact that Section 13 of RA No. 11223 aka Universal Health Care Act stipulates the creation of 2 panels. One panel is composed of experts in health and the second panel from the sector of contributors of employers, providers, LGU representatives. The panels will act as advisers of the Board of Directors of Philhealth.

Furthermore, Atty. Nick remarked that the Secretary of the Department of Health is part of the BOD or Board of Directors, obviously to lend his expertise in health although the DOH Secretary has no voting power. Hence, requiring the Philhealth chief to be a health expert creates redundancy when the DOH Secretary is part of the BOD.

Besides, all appointees have mandatory training in areas of health, especially in financing and costing. The appointees will get training in “health care financing”, because the appointees of Philhealth will not only look literally into the skin and bones of individuals but importantly, how to run a business.

Towards the end, Atty. Nick returned Rosales’ question and that is, if she had prior experience as a legislator when she ran for Congress as a partylist representative?

Of course, Atty. Nick replied that Rosales had zero experience. Yet, it did not stop Rosales from running for Congress despite her zero experience in legislation because the law does not say a candidate must have a law degree o prior experience/expertise in legislation.

Atty. Nick remarked that Rosales found it hard to accept the fact that she was also unqualified when she ran for Congress just like the new Philhealth Chief, and that is, her illusion is not a requirement.

You may read the original FB post below of Atty. Nick Nañgit.

1. HINDI requirement sa pagiging PhilHealth chief ang HEALTH experience lang. Binasa mo ba ang batas, ha?

Maliwanag sa Section 14 ng Republic Act No. 11223 aka Universal Health Care Act ang apat (4) na choices ng experience/expertise o “COMBINATION of any of these expertise”.

Ang choices ng experience/expertise ay: PUBLIC HEALTH, MANAGEMENT, FINANCE, at HEALTH ECONOMICS (Dito nga, sablay na ang pagkakaintindi ng mashondang aktibistang yan, dahil HINDI basta health, kundi PUBLIC health o health ECONOMICS ang experience/expertise).

PWEDENG ISA (1) lang diyan sa mga choices ng experience/expertise ang taglay ng appointee.

PWEDE RING HIGIT SA ISA ang experience/expertise ng appointee, kaya nga may salitang “combination”. At kung higit sa isa o yung tinatawag na “combination”, pwede ngang hindi pa kasama ang “public health” o “health economics”, kundi “management” at “finance” lang. Gets mo?

HINDI nga sinasabi ng batas na lahat yan ay dapat taglay ng appointee, kasi, kung yan ang magiging argumento, e bakit pa dinagdag ang salitang “combination”? Sana, simpleng sinabi na lang ng batas na “expertise in public health, management, finance, and health economics”, period. Kumbaga, “sana all”. Kaso, hindi ganun ang nakasulat sa batas. Pinapayagan ang “combination” nga e. Ang dagdag pa ng batas ay hindi bababa sa pitong (7) taong karanasan sa mga nasabing choices ang appointee.

Ngayon, napabalitang may karanasan si Dante Gierran sa bangko ng labing-isang (11) taon. Pasok yan sa management o finance! Hindi lang siya isang CPA, kundi isa ring abugado at nagretiro pa bilang Director ng NBI.

Anong problema mo, ha?

2. Nakalagay sa Section 13(a) ng batas ang partisipasyon ng DALAWANG (2) PANEL. Ang isa ay panel ng mga dalubhasa o experts sa kalusugan, at ang isa naman ay panel ng mga sectors (na kinabibilangan ng contributors, employers, providers, at representatives ng LGUs). Parehong tutulong ang mga panel na ito sa buong Board of Directors (BoD). Binasa mo ba talaga ang batas, ha?

Ibig sabihin nitong probisyon ng batas, INTERDISCIPLINARY ang BoD. Maraming anggulo ang tinitignan.

Kung required pala ang HEALTH experience/expertise sa appointee e di wala na lang mga panels?! Kering keri na ng PhilHealth chief mag-isa. Gets mo ba?

Tandaan mo, mashondang aktibista, na sa larangan ng insurance, hindi sapat na health lang ang alam.

Kinakailangan alam din ng appointee ang pagpapatakbo ng isang negosyo; ang papupuntahan ng pera para sa mga investments na dapat kumita para masagot ang mga pangangailangan ng mga covered o insured; at ang batas.

Yan bang konsepto ng insurance e masasagot ng isang dalubhasa lang sa kalusugan, kagaya ng duktor, nars, o komadrona? Mag isip ka nga, ha!

Totoo, sa isang panayam, sinabi ni Atty. Gierran na kinakabahan siya sa bagong posisyon. Sa tingin mo, mashondang aktibista, hindi niya kaya?

Kahit sino, walang monopoliya sa kaalaman, lalo pa’t bago ito sa posisyon. Sa lahat ng appointments, ang mandato ng batas ay dapat hawak ng appointee ang lahat ng qualifications at walang disqualifications.

Lalaban ka pa, lah? (Hindi teh, kasi mashonda ka na sobra, para tawagin pang teh)

3. Nakalagay din sa Section 13(b) na kasama sa BoD ang DoH Secretary. Binasa mo ba itong parte na ito ng batas, ha?

Gagampanan ng DoH Secretary ang katungkulan niya “ex oficio” (mali pa nga ang spelling ng batas, dahil dapat isang “f” lang yan; ang Latin ng salitang “office” ay “officium” at ang “plural” nito ay “officiis”; samantalang hango sa Kastila ang “oficio” o “job” na kapag sinabing “ex oficio”, ang ibig sabihin ay “dala ng trabaho”). Kumbaga, may karagdagang responsibilidad itong DoH Secretary.

Ang ibig sabihin ng probisyong ito ng batas ay kasama siya sa BoD, dahil sa kaalaman niya sa kalusugan, pero hindi siya maaaring bumoto.

Ngayon, kung requirement ang health sa PhilHealth chief, bakit kailangan pa ng DoH Secretary? Magiging paulit-ulit o unli o redundant lang. Gets mo? Nauunawaan mo na ba ngayon, mashondang aktibista, ang rason ng batas kung bakit kinakailangang bigyan ng “ex oficio function” ang DoH Secretary sa BoD ng PhilHealth?

Simple ang sagot – kasi nga HINDI kailangang may experience/expertise sa health ang appointee na PhilHealth chief.

4. Higit sa lahat, nakalagay pa nga sa Section 13(c) ang mandatong training ng mga appointees sa larangan ng kalusugan, kagaya ng financing at costing. Binasa mo ba talaga ang batas, ha?

Kinakailangang dumaan muna sila sa training para sa “health care financing”, halimbawa, e kasi nga hindi basta mga buto’t balat lang ng tao ang tinitignan sa insurance, kundi ang pagpapatakbo nga ng negosyo. Kaya nga, may health costing pa?! Nage-gets mo ba?

5. Ikaw nga, nung tumakbo ka sa Kongreso bilang kinatawan ng isang party-list, may alam ka na sa paggawa ng batas?

Diba, wala!

Kasi nga, hindi rin requirement ang law degree o prior experience/expertise sa legislation. Lalong hindi naging requirement sa Saligang Batas na dapat may units ka sa o kumuha ng subject na Statutory Construction, kung saan ituturo sa iyo kung paano gumawa ng batas at paano intindihin ang batas. Sigurado ako kumuha ka ng legal staff noon, kundi NGANGA! Nanalo ka lang, dahil sa party-list na inilagay ka bilang nominee. Kung tumakbo ka man noon bilang kinatawan ng isang distrito, palagay ko HINDI KA MANANALO, EVER!

Ngayon, ibabalik ko sa iyo ang putak mo. Syempre, hindi mo matatanggap yun na hindi ka pala kwalipikada, kasi nga, kagaya ng PhilHealth chief, HINDI requirement ang ilusyon mo.

Nga pala, isang korporasyon ang PhilHealth, at hindi ospital, T@NG@!

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Source: Nick Nañgit – NCN Law

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