Isko thumbs down calls to replace Duque as health secretary

Published January 5, 2021, 10:25 AM

by Minka Klaudia Tiangco

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso rejected calls to replace Health Secretary Francisco Duque III amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno (Photo by Jansen Romero/ MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Domagoso said he believes appointing someone new in the position would not help in the battle against the pandemic and that it would be better to guide Duque toward doing better. 

“I think that changing things, it’s like basketball, baka magkanda-leche-leche, ang dami pa ulit magpa-practice (it might mess things up, a lot of other people would need to practice),” he said in an interview with ANC on Monday. 

“Why not utilize those individuals who are already there at the beginning, in the middle, and… gabayan, tulungan, magkaisa na lamang tayo (guide them, help them, let us just unite),” he added.

Domagoso said even the Manila city government has its own share of failures in the COVID-19 crisis but they always bounced back from it. 

“Marami kaming palpak din.  Don’t get us wrong, ang dami naming uncertainties na nakasalamuha and ang dami naming triny (We had a lot of failures.  Don’t get us wrong.  We faced a lot of uncertainties and we tried a lot of things). But we didn’t stop when we failed, we innovated immediately,” he said.

“That same perspective should be adopted by any John Does and Marys in the government. Babangon agad, mag-fast track sa kilos, kapag nag-fail (Rise up immediately, fast track your moves, when you fail), then scrap it and move to another policy, another program, another approach until mag-succeed (you succeed),” he added. 

Various sectors had called for the replacement of Duque as health secretary over his reported failure to manage the COVID-19 crisis.

But President Duterte maintained Duque will remain in his post because he trusts him.