‘Wala pa ring Secretary of Health’: Marcos asked amid steady rise in COVID cases

July 1, 2022 - 7:40 PM
This June 2016 photo shows Shrine of Saint Lazarus or San Lazaro Hospital, DOH Compound, Rizal Avenue, Santa Cruz, Manila. (Judgefloro/Wikimedia Commons)

Some Filipinos continued to ask who the new secretary of health is amid the latest uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country.

Dermatologist Winlove Mojica was among those who raised this concern on Twitter on July 1.

“Good morning sa Pilipinas na wala pa ring Secretary of Health kahit na may impending surge,” Mojica tweeted.

A Redditor made a screenshot of this tweet and posted it on the forum r/Philippines.

Other Filipinos also made the same inquiry amid the start of the new administration.

“Hala oo nga…Pilipinas, wala ka pa ring Secretary of Health wala pa rin,” one user said.

“Now that cases are rising again, who is the new admins’ Secretary of Health?” another user tweeted.

Some Filipinos also asked for the new heads of other crucial departments of the executive branch.

“May pandemya, crisis sa langis pero wala pa din tayong secretary sa DOH, DOE at DOST!” one user said.

Based on a report, the Department of Health is still waiting for instructions from the Office of the Executive Secretary to the Officer-in-Charge of the agency.

“In the meantime, all bureaus, offices and units continue to function under the management of our senior career officials,” DOH was quoted in a report as saying.

Francisco Duque III, along with other Cabinet secretaries, ended their term on June 30.

Prior to this, Duque said that the new health chief should be experienced enough to lead a pandemic.

“I think it would be good for President Bongbong Marcos to choose someone, and this is my humble manifestation, ‘yung nakakaalam na,’ so they can build whatever the gains this administration was able to accomplish. So, it is wise to get someone who knows what to do,” he was quoted in a report as saying.

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The DOH reported 1,309 additional COVID cases on June 30, bringing the total cases to 3,704,407.

The number of active COVID-19 cases is also high at 7,871.

Of the total cases, 3,653,981 patients have recovered from COVID-19 and 60,555 have died.

Data analyst Edson Guido shared on Twitter the steady increase in the positivity rates of Metro Manila and three other regions, citing data from the DOH.

The following are the regions with positivity rates above the 5% threshold:

  • National Capital Region: 8.2%
  • Calabarzon: 7.0%
  • Mimaropa: 6.6%
  • Western Visayas: 6.4%

Guido noted that overall, the Philippines had a 6.0% positivity rate from June 2 to 30.

Meanwhile, the following are the newly appointed Cabinet secretaries of the Marcos administration so far:

  • Press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles
  • Justice Secretary Boying Remulla;
  • Agriculture Secretary, President Ferdinand Marcos
  • Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos
  • Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno
  • Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman
  • Social Welfare Secretary Erwin Tulfo
  • Commission on Audit chief Jose Calida
  • National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos
  • Defense Secretary Jose Faustino Jr.
  • Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo

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