DOH respects Leachon’s resignation and ‘wish to refocus on family’
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday said it “respects” health reform advocate Dr. Anthony “Tony” Leachon’s decision to resign as special adviser for non-communicable disease.
According to the DOH in a statement, Leachon resigned from his post, citing his “wish to refocus on family” as the reason.
“The Department admires the good doctor’s wish to refocus on family and remains open to any and all good intentions of assistance as we all march forward united towards UHC (Universal Health Care),” it added.
The DOH also thanked Leachon for his “expression of support,” noting that he was assigned to the post after volunteering to assist with noncommunicable diseases.
On September 11, Leachon submitted his resignation to DOH Secretary Teodoro Herbosa “after careful consideration” and “based on personal reasons,” barely a month after he assumed the post on August 11.
But in a post on his official Facebook page on September 12, Leachon said he resigned after the House of Representatives hearing on the DOH’s 2024 budget, where he was branded as “not a public health expert” by a lawmaker.”
“I want to spare my family from this matter,” he said.
Leachon was referring to a Sept. 6 hearing when Iloilo Rep. and former health chief Janette Garin questioned Leachon’s appointment as special adviser to the DOH and assailed his credentials as a public health expert, pointing out that he does not have a postgraduate degree in public health.
Leachon’s position was also downgraded to “voluntary” status on Sept. 8 after Garin criticized his new role in the health agency, specifically, for having a monthly salary of nearly P100,000, or equivalent to the pay grade of a DOH director.
Before his stint as special adviser for non-communicable diseases, Leachon also served as a special adviser to the National Task Force against COVID-19 in 2020 under the Duterte administration.