Former Senator Juan Flavier dies at 79

By , on October 30, 2014

Juan Flavier
Former Senator and Health Secretary Juan Flavier

MANILA – Former Senator Juan Flavier died on Thursday afternoon due to multiple organ failure caused by pneumonia. He was 79.

Flavier served as Department of Health (DOH) secretary from 1992 to 1995 and his outstanding performance as Cabinet member and his famous tag as “Mr. Let’s DOH It” earned him public accolade that brought him to the Philippine Senate in the 1995 elections.

As Health secretary, Flavier brought with him his rich experience in rural work and introduced innovative approaches to health care such as “Oplan Alis Disease,” a massive immunization campaign which later resulted to the World Health Organization declaration of the Philippines as polio-free, the Sangkap Pinoy, a nationwide campaign against micronutrient malnutrition, the anti-AIDS (Acute Immune Deficiency Syndrome) health information campaign and other health programs aimed at bringing health closer to the people.

He successfully transformed the DOH into a dynamic office, making it the number one department in the administration of former President Fidel V. Ramos.

Because of his outstanding performance in the Cabinet, he was asked to join the administration’s ticket in the 1995 elections.

Among the 12 winning candidates, he placed fifth and as a neophyte senator of the 10th Congress, he endeavored to concentrate on his job as a legislator and thus earned the distinction of having attended the most number of committee hearings, and having incurred no absences from the Senate sessions.

Some of the landmark legislation he authored and sponsored are the Traditional Medicine Law, the Poverty Alleviation Law, Clean Air Act and the Indigenous People’s Rights Act.

It was due to his outstanding performance that he was reelected as senator in the 2001 elections, placing 2nd among the 12 winning candidates.

On the first day of the 12th Congress, he immediately went to work and filed Senate Bills 1 to 166.

He continued to be an excellent advocate of health, environment and development issues, having authored and sponsored Republic Act No. 9160 — Anti-money Laundering Act of 2001; R.A. 9177 — Declaring Eidul Fit’r as a National Holiday; R.A. 9178 — Barangay Micro-Business Enterprises; R.A. 9163 — National Service Training Program for Tertiary Students of 2002; R.A. 9165 — Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002; R.A. 9168 — Plant Variety Protection Act; R.A. 9173 — Philippine Nursing Act of 2002; and R.A. 9211 — The Tobacco Regulation Act.

Having served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography during previous Congresses, Dr. Flavier continued to champion the Health Agenda in the Senate by pushing for reforms in health care delivery, health care regulation, and health care financing.

Indeed, reelected Senator Juan Flavier had been recognized as one of the most industrious legislators of the 10th, 11th and 12th Congresses.

Dr. Flavier is survived by his wife Susan and children Jondi, Johnet, James, and Joy and grandchildren and great grandchildren: Jesse, Pauline, Carlo, Jeid, Kia, Migo, Pio, JJ, Jerick, and Jasmine.