No change in RITM leadership

THE Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, March, 23, struck down reports that the head of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) was replaced for allegedly refusing to prioritize the processing of Covid-19 tests conducted on prominent personalities and politicians.

In a statement, the DOH said Dr. Celia Carlos remains the director of the RITM. But she will be under the supervision of Assistant Secretary Nestor Santiago.

“The RITM has been placed under the supervision of Assistant Secretary Nestor F. Santiago of the Public Health Services Team to allow Dir. Carlos, with her technical expertise, to focus on optimizing RITM functions,” it added.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the report may have stemmed from an erroneous draft order that named Santiago as director.

The draft was posted on social media by mistake, but was immediately taken down.

“Papalitan (ang) RITM Director? Hindi totoo na papalitan natin si Director Celia Carlos, at ilalagay natin si Asec. Nestor Santiago, Ang katunayan sa nangyaring ito po ay isang erroneous mistake,” said Vergeire.

“It was an error doon sa pag d-draft ng department personnel order kung saan nagkamali tayo ng pagsulat diyan. Ating kinorek na iyan. Ang totoo diyan si Director Celia Carlos will still be our director for RITM because she has the technical expertise,” Vergeire said.

The agency apologized for the inconvenience and confusion that this error caused. (SunStar Philippines)