Duque’s election as WHO regional chair shows ‘confidence’ in PH’s COVID-19 response — Roque

Published October 8, 2020, 3:49 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said the election of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III taking a seat at the World Health Organization (WHO) means that the international body thinks that the Philippines is doing the right thing in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.(CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.(CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after Duque was elected as chairperson of the WHO’s Regional Committee for the Western-Pacific.

In his Thursday presser, Roque congratulated Duque for his new post, saying it shows that the WHO has faith in him.

“Our congratulations to Secretary Duque, my classmate in the Cabinet. Ito po ay nagpapatunay na nagtitiwala po ang WHO sa kakayahan ni Secretary Duque (This proves that the WHO trusts his abilities),” he said.

Roque added that Duque’s election may mean that that the WHO recognizes that the Philippines’ way of handling the pandemic was effective.

“Siguro po kinikilala na sa region talagang ang response natin sa COVID ay mukha naman pong epektibo (Perhaps they recognize that in the region, our country’s response to the pandemic has been very effective),” he said.

“Naniniwala po ang WHO na tama ang mga hakbang na ginagawa natin para labanan ang COVID-19 habang wala pang bakuna, habang wala pang gamot (The WHO believes that we’re on the right track in dealing with COVID-19 while there is no vaccine or cure yet),” he added.

Duque’s election was said to be uncontested. He was elected by 37 member-states and will serve a term of one year.

He will likewise be presiding over the entire virtual session of the regional committee that will take place until October 9. 

Duque’s election came despite calls for his resignation over his supposed failure in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and due to the corruption in PhilHealth.

President Duterte, however, has been consistent with his stand that he will not fire Duque.