Duque to return to teaching after Duterte’s term

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MANILA, PHILIPPINES - FEBRUARY 03: Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III talks during the press conference in Department of Health in Manila, Philippines on February 03, 2020. (Photo by Dante Diosina Jr/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - FEBRUARY 03: Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III talks during the press conference in Department of Health in Manila, Philippines on February 03, 2020. (Photo by Dante Diosina Jr/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Outgoing Health Secretary Francisco Duque III wants to return to teaching after holding his position at the Department of Health (DOH) since 2017.

In an interview on Tuesday (June 7), Duque said he wanted to help run their family university in Dagupan City, Pangasinan.

Marami akong plano (I have many plans). I wanna go back to the private sector, I want to help run the family university in Dagupan City where I will also teach,” Duque said in One News’ The Chiefs.

The health secretary said that he used to teach in the university’s College of Medicine and he plans to introduce universal healthcare in its medical curriculum.

“I used to teach in our College of Medicine so yun ang gagawin ko (so that’s what I’m going to do) and I want to do Universal Healthcare, yung modules and I want this introduced in the medical curriculum, yung Universal Healthcare,” Duque went on.

President Rodrigo Duterte, signed the Universal Healthcare law during Duque’s stint in DOH. The law seeks to give all Filipinos access to quality healthcare.

Duque will step down from office on June 30.

Under Duque, the DOH has faced widespread criticisms due to its poor handling of the health crisis and COVID-19 response funds, including the Pharmally scandal.

The health department has been repeatedly questioned over its P42 billion transfer to the Procurement Services of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM-PS) without any documentation.

However, in a televised interview last Monday (June 6), Duque said that he has “no regrets” over his and DOH’s actions during the height of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said that the report of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee that recommended the filing of criminal charges against Duque was correct as the Duterte-appointee was also liable for the controversial COVID-19 supply deals with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp.

“PS-DMB officials could not have committed plunder without the P42-billion DOH funds being illegally transferred without any documentation, to PS-DBM. He is part of the conspiracy to defraud,” Drilon said.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings.

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