A SOLON on Sunday raised the urgency of having a full-fledged head of the Department of Health (DoH), citing the need for a leader who will provide direction and solutions on various health and administrative issues.
“It’s not only the coronavirus that the health secretary will have to address, there are other health issues like cholera and dengue,” ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France L. Castro said in Filipino in a statement.
“Another health issue is that half of the nurses and health workers still have not received their benefits,” she said.
These health-related problems cannot be fully addressed by an officer-in-charge as they have limited powers and their initiatives may be overturned when a health secretary is assigned, she said.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., who started his term on July 1, has yet to appoint a DoH head, designating Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire as officer-in-charge.
Ms. Castro said health policies are crucial to balancing the administration’s push towards economic recovery.
“A balance must be struck in protecting our health but at the same time jump-starting the economy,” she said.
Appointing a trustworthy and competent health secretary is an initial step to achieving balance, she said. — Kyanna Angela Bulan