Ubial out as health chief, Palace regrets CA decision

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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. He did not elaborate.

"We are deeply grateful for Sec".

Trust and satisfaction in Duterte fell to the lowest of his presidency in the third quarter of this year, a survey showed on Sunday, although sentiment about his leadership remained positive overall.

The Internet was relatively silent, however, unlike during the rejection of other appointees of President Rodrigo Duterte, when online rage was immediately sparked. Dineros said Ubial "asserted (her) personal agenda" and moved to oust him from his post.

Party-list Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque had slammed Ubial for her flip-flopping on the Zika virus and the delay in the procurement of the dengue vaccine in favor of the pneumonia vaccine.

Ubial's appointment had been opposed by several parties, whose allegations she denied.

Francisco, who represented PhilHealth employees, claimed that Ubial abused authority and that employees even wanted to file an opposition versus the Secretary but was afraid to do so.

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Ubial, in response, said she was only following the Commission on Audit (COA)'s notice of disallowance on the allowances and benefits given to PhilHealth officials and employees. Duterte appointed her when he took office.

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

"We regret the commission's non-confirmation of Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial", Abella said in a statement. In an interview before the announcement, Ubial said she would accept the verdict whether or not the CA decision favored her.

The judgment on Ubial came after the CA committee on health carried out a session and endorsed to dismiss the secretary's appointment. 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 previous year after Roque raised concerns over her qualifications for the post.

"The DoH [Department of Health] deserves a decisive leader and I call on President Duterte to appoint an exceptional doctor with proven managerial skills to head the DoH", he said.

The Health secretary however defended herself saying all her travels were authorized and were part of her work as DOH chief. "Let's not blow it a second time around".

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