Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte recently named Brigadier General Ricardo C. Morales, (Retired) AFP, FICD, to the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) representing the Indirect Contributors Sector; as well as its President and Chief Executive Officer, the 11th to hold the highest leadership post at the state-run health insurance agency.
Gen. Morales started his military career as an infantry platoon leader in the Philippine Army assigned in Sulu. He served in various field assignments in Sulu, Basilan and mainland Mindanao, and also in several staff positions at the AFP General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo and at the Headquarters, Philippine Army. Prior to his retirement from the active service in 2009, he was Commanding General of the Headquarters and Headquarters Support Group at the Philippine Army Headquarters, in Fort Andres Bonifacio, Taguig City.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Philippine Military Academy, and a Postgraduate degree in Conflict Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He is also a Fellow of the Institute for Corporate Directors, and holds certificates in strategic planning, defense resource economics, and project management.
Upon retirement from the active service, he joined the AFP General Insurance Corporation and was President and CEO of the AFP Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. from 2011 to 2013. Before his PhilHealth designation, he served briefly as Administrator of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.
He views his designation as President and Chief Executive Officer of PhilHealth as both a challenge and an honor for being singled out by President Duterte to "fix the organization and eliminate corruption" at this crucial period when the Universal Health Care Law is to be launched. The new PhilHealth Chief is confident that PhilHealth will quickly regain the public's trust and confidence who have been accustomed to the agency's brand of quality service.
"I will make it a point that our members will renew their trust on PhilHealth and to let them feel comfortable and contented in terms of (financial) access to quality health care, making them assured of their benefits in times of sickness and hospitalization," Morales declared with conviction.
As the Universal Health Care era is fast approaching, he expressed optimism that PhilHealth will rise to new heights, no matter how tough these challenges would be. (END)