Ubial out as health chief, Palace regrets CA decision

FILE “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

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She had?been serving as secretary of the Department of Health since June 30, 2016.

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.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, who had grilled Ubial last week about her travels overseas, sometimes with family members, said, "Smoking is risky to your health, like lying is unsafe to your confirmation".

Francisco claimed that Ubial committed "grave abuse of power and usurpation of authority".

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.

Ubial did not attend the plenary session where her rejection was announced by Sen. "It's a process which must be respected", Honasan said. She was among 150 PhilHealth employees who signed a manifesto against Ubial.

Before Ubial, the commission had rejected the appointments of Perfecto Yasay Jr.

"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". Dineros said Ubial "asserted (her) personal agenda" and moved to oust him from his post.

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Ubial's son Karl, had joined some of her official trips overseas, but Ubial said they personally shouldered the expenses.

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.

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

The legislators earlier rejected Duterte's appointments to the departments of environment, foreign affairs, agrarian reform and social welfare.?

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

The judgment on Ubial came after the CA committee on health carried out a session and endorsed to dismiss the secretary's appointment. Four individuals opposed Ubial's appointment: Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque; lawyer Restituto Mendoza; Potenciano Malvar, medical director of the General Miguel M. Malvar Medical Foundation; and Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

"The success of universal health care lies in the hand of the next DOH secretary", Roque said.

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