Not picking a DOH chief shows Marcos not prioritizing health – solon
MANILA, Philippines — House Deputy Minority Leader France Castro on Sunday questioned President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s decision to hold off appointing a health secretary until the COVID-19 situation in the country “normalizes.”
“By not appointing a health secretary up till now, [it] shows that the health of the nation is not a priority of the Marcos administration. These problems cannot be fully addressed by an officer in charge because they have limited powers and their initiatives can be overturned when an appointed secretary steps in,” Castro said in a statement.
“The country needs a full-fledged health secretary now to address the still ongoing pandemic even as the president wants to further open up the economy. Shouldn’t there be an appointment of a health secretary who is competent and has integrity now so that country can normalize faster,” she went on in a mix of English and Filipino.
She also reminded the president the Department of Health (DOH) had other problems to face, such as an increase in cases of cholera, dengue, and diarrhea There are also issues like the unpaid benefits of nurses and other health workers.
“A balance must be struck in protecting our health but at the same time jump-starting the economy. Consequently, appointing a trustworthy and competent health secretary is the first step to achieve that balance,” Castro said.
Former PNP chief as DOH undersecretary?
Meanwhile, Castro also wondered how a former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) got appointed as the undersecretary of the DOH.
“Why would a PNP general who was involved in Tokhang be appointed as a DOH undersecretary when it seems that he has no qualifications for the position?”
Marcos recently appointed of former PNP chief Camilo Cascolan as a DOH undersecretary.
During his term as PNP chief, Cascolan was one of the brains behind the previous Duterte administration’s bloody drug war.
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