Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (File photo from the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau)
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Saturday said he will resign once the Department of Health’s (DOH) issues related to the audit report of the Commission on Audit (COA) are cleared.
Duque said he had only requested time to address all COA’s findings on the DOH, particularly the state auditor’s 2020 report which found deficiencies on the DOH’s handling and management of its P67.32-billion fund to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
“’Yun naman ang aking pakiusap, na bigyan ako ng panahon na i-clear ‘yung COA findings at observations at ‘yung aming action plan sa recommendations and then I am leaving. Alam naman nila na ‘yun naman ang aking posisyon patungkol dyan,” he said in an interview on DZBB.
(My request was to be given time to clear the COA findings and observations and to implement our action plan on their recommendations and then I am leaving. They knew that was my position.)
Duque said his plan to resign after addressing COA findings has already reached President Rodrigo Duterte.
“It’s a matter of time. ‘Yun naman talaga ang hiningi ko. Sabi ko I’m stepping down… pero bigyan lang ako ng kaunting panahon para maayos namin ng DOH ang lahat ng COA observations and findings,” he added.
(It’s a matter of time. That was what I asked for. I said I am stepping down… but give me and the DOH time to address all the COA observations and findings.)
Should his resignation push though, Duque said his being the Health Secretary during the COVID-19 pandemic will be one of his legacies.
Duque’s statement comes a day after he said in a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing that
he would resign “if the time comes when [he] will need to.”
Some groups and lawmakers have been calling for the resignation Duque, but President Rodrigo Duterte objected.
In his latest statement, however,
Duterte said he would accept Duque’s resignation.
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