MANILA – On the heels of the resignation of Health Secretary Enrique Ona, the chief of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) urged on Friday to give acting Secretary Janette Garin a chance to prove her capacity to head the department.
When asked who he feel should replace Ona at the helm of the health department, Dr. Anthony Leachon, PCP president, said that Garin should be afforded the opportunity to prove herself; especially since she already has the confidence of President Benigno Aquino III.
Speaking over radio dzMM, Leachon said: “Sa tingin ko po, kung magtatrabaho kayo sa pangulo, kailangan may trust and confidence ang pangulo. Nakikita natin na ang pangulo ay may tiwala sa acting secretary. Meron na kasi tayong preconceived bias sa politicians taking leadership roles sa mga social services agency. Kasi kapag sinabi natin ganito. Pero kapag nilahat natin yun, and ilang agency na maganda naman ang pamamalakad ng isang politician, eh nilalahat na natin (In my opinion, if you are to work for the president, then it is important that you have the trust and confidence of the president. We see that the president trusts the acting secretary. We already have a preconceived bias that politicians should take leadership roles in social services agencies. We tend to generalize that if some agencies are run well by politicians, then we assume all agencies will be run well by politicians.)”
“Sa akin, bigyan natin ng pagkakataon. Malay mo, mas mahigitan pa ang pagseserbisyo ni Secretary Ona, na marami rin namang nagawa sa loob ng apat na taong pagseserbisyo niya sa DOH (In my opinion, let’s give (Garin) a chance. We never know, she may even outdo the service given by Secretary Ona, who was also able to do a lot within four years service with the DOH.),” he added.
Ona’s capacity to head the department came into question after he went against the recommendation of the World Health Organization to purchase a particular type of anti-pneumonia vaccine.
His resignation, effective December 20, was accepted by President Aquino; Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. revealed on Friday.