Duque to return to teaching after stint as DOH chief

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (Malacañang photo)

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that he is planning to return to teaching after his term ends as chief of the Department of Health (DOH).

“I’m still going to work but in the private sector,” said Duque in an online forum on Wednesday, June 8.

Duque said that he is planning to work in their family-owned university in Dagupan City, Pangasinan—which is the Lyceum Northwestern University.

“I will teach and I will help grow and internationalize the family-owned university,” he said.

He expressed his gratitude for the support of the DOH officials and staff under his leadership.

“It’s been a tough journey for the DOH. But, I really commend my DOH family for standing by me, for its continuing trust and confidence in our stewardship in the DOH,” said Duque.

“It is really hard to run a big bureaucracy like the DOH, it is never a walk in the park because there are too many human resource issues that are equally important that you need to address to make effective solutions and interventions—long-term not patch work,” he added.

The DOH is “far from perfect,” said Duque.

“But I just want people to understand that it is very difficult to do your job under pandemic circumstances… Remember, the pandemic brought the whole world down to its knees,” he said.

Ready to face allegations

Duque also expressed readiness to face possible charges against him over his handling of the Covid-19 crisis in the country.

“Marami tayong mga haharapin, yung mga sinasabi nila na ‘prepare a good lawyer,’ yes, I always have good lawyers and well-meaning advisers who knows [what] I have to go through while helping and leading this country in this historic pandemic,” he said.

Recently, outgoing Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon advised Duque to get a good counsel amid the allegations being thrown at the latter.

Meanwhile, Duque also expressed his gratitude to President Duterte for supporting him despite the different issues against him.

“The President has always stood by me and defended me. Not only as a good lawyer, but I think, more importantly as a president, who does not tolerate corruption under his watch,” he said.

“The President has stood by me and always had his full trust and confidence in me and this is for a good reason—because alam naman niya ang track record ko (he knows my track record),” he added.

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