Magalong should remain as tracing czar, DOH says

 By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Sun Star

Baguio City Mayor and Contact Tracing Czar Benjamin Magalong should remain on his post despite fierce criticisms over his attendance in a party where minimum health standards were violated, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire noted that even Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said that Magalong still has President Rodrigo Duterte’s trust.

“We know that the President has that trust [for Magalong], and the Department of Health also trusts Mayor Magalong and we also believe that he should remain in that position,” Vergeire said in a virtual briefing. 

Magalong contributed a lot in contact tracing efforts in a bid to contain the coronavirus spread, Vergeire pointed out.

“Actually ‘yung ating pakikipagtulungan kay Mayor Magalong is on that level na kapag kailangan talaga ay tumatawag tayo sa kanya kasi he can really assist us. Dito po sa Bontoc at buong CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region), siya po ang nagpatakbo ng contact tracing natin for this specific variant,” she said.

The health official was referring to the tracing conducted in CAR after reporting 12 cases of more infectious COVID-19 strain in Bontoc, Mountain Province, and in La Trinidad, Benguet.

“Kami rin po sa Kagawaran ng Kalusugan, we believe that he should remain to be in that position,” Vergeire said.

Earlier, Roque said that Magalong filed his resignation but later rejected by the government.

Magalong himself admitted there are violations of observing health protocols during the party hosted by social media personality Tim Yap.

RELATED ARTICLE: Philippine Daily Inquirer