Ona readying reply to Aquino
MANILA, Philippines–Embattled Health Secretary Enrique Ona revealed that while on leave, he is working on a response to President Aquino’s questions about the Department of Health’s (DOH’s) immunization and other programs.
Speaking to reporters after a necrological service hosted by the DOH for former health secretary and Senator Juan Flavier on Tuesday, Ona said he was preparing a comprehensive report to the President.
“[It will explain] our immunization program, and a few things he (Aquino) said there (in the interview): in terms of immunization, in terms of public health, and our hospital reform program,” Ona said.
In his eulogy for Flavier, Ona admitted that the government’s current immunization and vaccination programs paled in comparison to what Flavier achieved 25 years ago. But he did not provide comparative statistics.
“It’s true. We pale in comparison to what he has achieved. He has set the bar so high for us to follow,” he said.
Ona deferred to President Aquino’s statements when asked whether he was forced to go on leave.
“That’s what he is saying. He said it. I think that will be enough. I will not add anything anymore,” Ona said.
Initial reports said Ona filed a month-long medical leave to recuperate from a severe allergy attacks blamed on his hair dye.
But in a media interview on Monday, Aquino admitted he allowed Ona to go on leave so his daily work as secretary would not interfere with the response he was preparing to his questions.
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