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PhilHealth undergoes major revamp after cyberattack

Inquirer October 25,2023 - 10:44 AM


Health Secretary Teodoro Javier Herbosa (File photo from the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. or PhilHealth will undergo a major reorganization of top positions following the ransomware attack on its website and portal and other controversies, Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said on Tuesday.

In a press briefing in Malacañang, Herbosa, who chairs the PhilHealth Board, said the board met on Oct. 7 and approved the revamp of several top positions such as the executive vice president and vice president for finance.

Herbosa said the revamp was granted an exemption by the Commission on Elections last week but PhilHealth president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Ledesma delayed the implementation pending consultations with the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG).

READ: PhilHealth estimates 13 to 20 million members affected by data breach

“It’s not yet implemented because the president asked for more time because he had a question for the GCG regarding its implementation. So as of now, it’s actually for implementation, it’s already exempted but we agreed, the board agreed, to the request of the president and CEO to actually wait for the comment by the GCG,” he said.

The GCG was asked to rule on whether the board can legally order the transfers of executives or if such power of “governance” is vested in the PhilHealth president. The health secretary, who said he is a nonvoting chair, admitted that the PhilHealth board was in charge “only” of strategic matters and policy making.

READ: Leaked Philhealth data ‘staggering,’ says NPC

The Department of Health chief said most of the systems of PhilHealth were already up, but due to the leakage of private information on the dark web, the board ordered the agency’s management to set up a crisis committee to attend to the data breach and data privacy concerns.

The board also asked the PhilHealth management to come up with a “business continuity plan” to ensure that billings, member’s dues payments, and premiums could still be accepted and processed in case a similar incident occurs again in the future, he said.


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TAGS: cyberhacking, data breach, PhilHealth, Ransomware

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