Herbosa a no-show at Senate budget hearing for DOH
MANILA, Philippines — After being bypassed by the Commission on Appointments (CA) for his Health secretary post, Teodoro “Ted” Herbosa skipped the budget hearing of the Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday.
This did not escape the attention of Senator Francis Tolentino, who is also a member of the CA which bypassed Herbosa.
“Administratively, who is in charge?” Tolentino, said during the Senate committee on finance hearing on the proposed 2024 budget of the Department of Health amounting to P311.3 billion.
“Who will take the cudgels in defending the budget of this big department. You don’t have a secretary here,” he added.
“Is there an acting secretary, an officer in charge who will be responsible for this budget presentation?”
Senator Pia Cayetano, however, noted that the DOH is not “headless” during the hearing.
“Di naman sila headless (They are not headless), your honor. Actually, all of the senior members of the team approached me a while ago and they acknowledge that of course, it is a bit of an awkward situation,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano noted the presence of Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire who served as the DOH officer-in-charge; as well as Health Undersecretary Lilibeth David who is the most senior undersecretary of the DOH.
“I am quite confident in their presentation today that they can answer,” she said.