Susan “Toots” Ople, former Labor undersecretary, is still in the process of “discernment and consultations” on whether if she will accept the offer of presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to lead the Department of Migrant Workers.
Ople confirmed that she was offered the post under the Marcos administration.
“We met last Friday, and it was a warm, and inspiring meeting. He (BBM) spoke about the need to get the new department up and running, and for it to care for our OFWs and also develop programs for their families especially the children of migrant workers,” Ople, in a GMA News report said.
“Given his kind offer for me to return to public service, I am now in a process of discernment and consultations – because I am aware of the enormity of the task and the challenges involved.”
A doctors group meanwhile said the next head of the Department of Health (DOH) should be someone who is “practicing.”
“Well I think we need somebody who really knows, who really has the knowledge when it comes to healthcare, so he has to be practicing,” Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) president Dr. Maricar Limpin said in an interview with ANC’s “Rundown.”
Limpin likewise said the Philippines’ next health secretary should have a strong public health background.
“Also, he or she should also know something about health promotion. You know health promotion has been left on the background and because we are so poor or are so weak on health promotion, we see a lot of health problems arising. And we cannot also do anything about you know, one of the highest cause of mortality in the country which is non-communicable diseases,” she said.
Limpin said she hopes the next administration will be able to end the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
She also said the government must address the exodus of nurses from the country and ensure the proper implementation of the Universal Healthcare Law.
“Because this is already long overdue, our people [need] to get what they deserve,” she said. Marcos has yet to name his preferred Health secretary. Presumptive vice president Sara Duterte-Carpio has agreed to lead the Department of Education, while Marcos’ campaign manager Benhur Abalos will lead the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). With Willie Casas
Marcos’ camp has also offered Cabinet posts to former labor secretary Bienvenido Laguesma and overseas Filipino worker advocate Susan “Toots” Ople.
It is only a matter of time before more COVID-19 cases are recorded in the country now that the Health department has confirmed the local transmission of omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1, Limpin said.
“Since the variant has already entered the country then it’s just a matter of time, we will be able to see already the increase in cases. But unfortunately, in the country, as you said, the testing is really not that good anymore,” she said.
A rumored candidate for the incoming Cabinet, infectious disease specialist Dr. Edsel Salvana, said on Monday he has “no comment” for now on reports that he could be the next DOH secretary. With Willie Casas