Health Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that she is now ready to become full time health secretary of the Marcos administration.
“This will be a process, where I can discuss this with the President, that I am now ready to be appointed, if and when that would be his decision. But he doesn’t need to approach me and and ask me to be the health secretary. I will be the one who would tell him and talk to him,” Vergeire said in an interview with reporters.
Vergeire said that going around the country in the last six months and witnessing the state of the health system pushed her to take on the top health post.
“As all you know, I have a lot of hesitancies because of my career executive position, the tenure of this position, pero sa tingin ko, with all of these things happening, at sa lahat lahat ng trabahong dapat gawin. I think this is the appropriate time for me to help the country,” she said.
Vergeire said that tenure was her main reason why she is reluctant on accepting the new post.
“I have been here for almost three decades already, and I am a career official. So, if we have a term, such as the case of a DOH chief, it’s only six years. And by the time I finish the six years, I still have years left to serve. And I want to still serve until I retire,” she said in October 2022.
President Bongbong Marcos previously said that Vergeire is doing a great job as Health OIC.
“Wala pa kaming DOH. Wala pa kaming i-nominate. Usec. Vergeire is doing a fine job. So we let her do her job kasi we are still not out of the pandemic so we have to continue to be careful,” the President said last December.
Marcos said that he will only nominate a new secretary once the COVID-19 pandemic situation stabilizes.
Marcos said his focus now is the performance of every official.
“Let’s be patient. Basta’t na… Ako, ang concern ko lang ‘yung kailangang gawin na trabaho, nagagawa. So far naman, nagagawa,” Marcos said.