Ubial out as health chief, Palace regrets CA decision


Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella expressed his disappointment at the decision and thanked Ubial for her service, which he described as emblematic of the Duterte administration's concern for citizens' health needs.

Before being appointed as secretary, Ubial was DOH assistant secretary for health regulations.

Senator Gregorio Honasan, chairman of the commission's health committee, said it had made a decision to "withhold its consent" to the appointment of Ubial.

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

He said there were 13 votes to "withhold consent to the ad interim of Ubial".

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Paulyn Ubial, a physician by profession, ?was the fifth of President Rodrigo Duterte's cabinet nominations to be rejected by the commission.

Raised against Ubial were her appointments of officers in charge in Philhealth, which is a prerogative of the President; her supposed inconsistencies during the Zika virus outbreak, and pricey foreign trips with her son.

The opposition were filed by Rep. Harry Roque (Kabayan party-list), lawyer Restituto Mendoza and from Potenciano Malvar, medical director of the Gen. Miguel M. Malvar Medical Foundation in Quezon City.

Interviewed by reporters after the confirmation hearing, a teary-eyed Ubial told reporters she cries easily because she's fond of watching teledramas.

The last opposition was filed by Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) employee Marie Fe Francisco, who claimed that Ubial was exercising "grave abuse of power and usurpation of authority".

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In the case of Ubial, there were a few netizens who disagreed with the vote of the Commission on Appointments, but the reactions certainly did not create enough buzz online.

Ubial said that while it pained her to remove the compensation and allowances of PhilHealth employees, she had to follow the law.

Hs also accused Ubial, as PhilHealth chairperson, of controlling internal affairs for her own benefit.

The judgment on Ubial came after the CA committee on health carried out a session and endorsed to dismiss the secretary's appointment.

"The success of universal health care and all other health reforms of the administration lies in the hands of the next DoH secretary". "Let's not blow it a second time around".

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