THE Board of Directors of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) has appointed on August 26, 2020 Arnel F. De Jesus as Officer-in-Charge – President and Chief Executive Officer of the national state health insurer effective upon the acceptance of the resignation of retired Army General Ricardo C. Morales due to his health condition, and until a new permanent PCEO is appointed upon recommendation by the Board.
As caretaker of the largest social health insurance agency, De Jesus vows to carry out several reform measures that he helped initiate during the incumbency of former PCEO Morales when he first joined PhilHealth in July 2019 as Corporate Executive Officer IV. Among these reforms is “to improve the agency’s key processes and legacy tools in delivering the same benefit packages more efficiently and effectively as PhilHealth pivots to longer term aspirational goals of UHC,”. He also intends to “draw up new processes, new tools, (and) new structure with new human resource responsibilities adequately armed with new learnings appropriate to the(ir) new roles”.
De Jesus admitted, “We cannot accomplish this by ourselves, and with wisdom and guidance from our Board we can engage professional firms in order to accomplish the objectives of these parallel path ways”.
He studied Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, and also took Management Development Program at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). He attended the Advanced Course on Health Financing for Universal Coverage for Low and Middle-Income Countries conducted by the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.
He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accountancy from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. He then placed 15th in the May 1980 CPA board examination and immediately became part of the prestigious SGV & Co, Phils., where he became known as “the Great AFJ”. There he served in different capacities and in various postings here and abroad for more than three decades, making him a highly respected figure in the field of audit and finance.
He is a designated firm “expert” in the insurance and pre-need sectors. He obtained his wide and varied industry exposure from auditing companies that are involved in mutual funds, healthcare, business process outsourcing, consumer products and retail, real estate, telecommunications technology, and port operations industries.
De Jesus was also involved in the amendment of the Insurance Code as well as in the drafting of relevant regulations in the industry. He is a member of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) where he served as National Board Member. He was also a member of the Philippine Life Insurance Association (PLIA) and the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
Of the current situation that PhilHealth is in, he “commits to cooperate with all the investigations being conducted by authorities to ferret out the truth, hoping that all of these should result to the guilty being punished and the innocent exonerated”.