New DOH undersecretary vows better coordination with IATF on COVID-19 response

Aileen Cerrudo

The new Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary has vowed to coordinate better with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) on the country’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Newly appointed DOH Usec. Leopoldo Vega aims to make sure that services are properly given to the community amid the country’s fight against the COVID-19 virus.

“I think ang pinaka-importante dito (what’s important) is a very good coordination between the Department of Health and [the department] is able to respond to the needs and services of the community. It has to harmonize with what the IATF would want and to respond for,” he said during a press briefing on Monday (June 8).

Vega also dismissed rumors that he would replace DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III as the new Health Department secretary amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s disappointment on the delayed compensation for health workers with COVID-19.

“It’s too theoretical, I’m just preparing myself for Undersecretary so I cannot fathom being Secretary at this time,” he said.

Meanwhile, the President already set Tuesday (June 9) as the deadline for the DOH to distribute the compensation for health workers who are infected with COVID-19, or who has passed away due to the virus. –AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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