Duterte wants OCTA fellow as next DOH chief; Duque agrees to give way

By Jennylou Canon

PHOTO: PCOO Screenshot

President Rodrigo Duterte offered the top spot in the Department of Health (DOH) to Molecular Biologist and OCTA Research Fellow Fr. Nicanor Austriaco Jr., saying that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III “would be happy to give way.”

In his Talk to the People, Duterte made the offer after Austriaco presented the management plan for the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

“I would be happy to appoint you as secretary of health if that is okay with you,” said Duterte.

However, Austriaco refused and said that Duque “is doing a fine job.”

Duterte later added that Duque considered leaving the post and that he’d gladly hand over the job to Austriaco, to which the health chief agreed.

Austriaco is currently an OCTA Research fellow who is also a part of the first Filipino-made COVID-19 vaccine developer team.


Report source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

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