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Duque to leave DOH, endorses replacement – GMANews.TV

Duque to leave DOH, endorses replacement – Nation – GMANews.TV – Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs – Latest Philippine News.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III will soon move to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and is confident that his being a non-lawyer will not be a hindrance to his confirmation as the agency’s chairman.

“Dito siguro isang magandang pagkakataon upang mapaigting at mapalawak at maiayos ang sistema sa ating kawani sa gobyerno at professionalism sa pagbigay ng serbisyo ay ating pagagalingin sa bureaucracy (The CSC will be a good chance for me to improve professionalism in the bureaucracy),” Duque said in an interview on dzXL radio on Wednesday.

Duque also endorsed Health Undersecretary Mario Villaverde as his replacement at the Department of Health (DOH) once his appointment to the CSC is formalized.

Duque described Villaverde as “very competent and homegrown.”

“I am very confident he will be able to continue our health programs,” he said. “Tatapusin ko lang ang bagong taon (I will just let the New Year pass). I need to do the rounds of most of the hospitals in the National Capital Region and ensure their readiness to give treatment to firecracker victims.”

Duque said he expects President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to sign his reappointment papers “in a week or two.”

Last October, the influential Commission on Appointments (CA) rejected the appointment pf Ricardo Saludo to CSC’s top post, saying he did not meet the minimum requirements for the position.

Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza, CA vice chairman, said during the confirmation hearing that the minimum requirement for a CSC chairman should be a membership in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

But Duque noted that former CSC chairpersons Patricia Sto. Tomas, Corazon Alma de Leon and Jake Clave were not lawyers.

Before heading the DOH, Duque served as, among others, President and CEO of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Medical Director of Doctors’ Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Chairman of the Board at Lyceum-Northwestern University in Dagupan City.

Malacanang, however, has not yet confirmed reports on Duque’s reappointment, saying that Duque is still with the DOH. – KBK/LBG, GMANews.TV

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