Marcos taps health deputy as OIC while COVID cases rise

·Contributor
·2 min read
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appointed Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire as the agency's officer-in-charge (OIC).
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appointed Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire as the agency's officer-in-charge (OIC) as he continues his search for his health chief while COVID infections continue to rise.. (Photo: Department of Health/Facebook)

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has assigned Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire as the Department of Health’s (DOH) officer-in-charge. This despite COVID-19 cases in the Philippines continue to rise.

In a press briefing on Thursday (July 14), Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles announced that Vergeire will hold the position until July 31 or until Marcos Jr. assigns a permanent DOH head.

“Dr. Rosario Vergeire, currently the undersecretary for public health services of the DOH, has been named by the President as OIC of the department,” Angeles said.

She also said that the designation of Vergeire as OIC may be extended if no DOH secretary has been named before July 31.

The announcement comes in line with Memorandum Circular No. 1 issued on June 30 by Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez saying that a vacated top government position shall be filled by the next in rank or most senior official as OIC until July 31 or until a permanent replacement has been designated.

Vergeire will now continue to lead DOH in dealing with the rising cases in the country.

Rise in COVID-19 cases

In its latest COVID-19 situationer, the DOH said that the national weekly positivity rate for COVID cases reached 10.6%, showing a continuous increase in the daily recorded cases from July 8 to July 14.

“National case trend shows continuous increase now averaging more than 1,700 cases per day in the recent week,” the Health Department said.

Ten regions have reportedly surpassed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) threshold of 5% positivity rate with Calabarzon leading with 14.4%.

This was followed by Metro Manila with 13.0%, Western Visayas with 11.7%, Central Luzon with 11.5%, Mimaropa with 11.1%, CAR with 7.3%, Cagayan Valley with 6.9%, Ilocos Region with 6.7%, Central Visayas with 6.5%, and Northern Mindanao with 5.2%.

Metro Manila in particular showed the “steepest” increase in cases with a record of 750 cases per day.

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 on Twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings.

Watch more videos on Yahoo:

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting