Duterte to FDA chief: ‘Just do your job, and to hell with criticisms’

Published June 22, 2021, 11:41 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Eric Domingo got some unsolicited advice from President Duterte on how to deal with criticisms from detractors.

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a public address from Davao City on June 21, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

In a meeting with top government officials involved in the pandemic response Monday, June 21, the President urged Domingo to just do his job properly and take the criticisms hurled against him “in stride.”

Duterte said he was aware that Domingo has been on the receiving end of criticisms from some groups but assured the FDA chief of his complete trust.

“Binubugbog minsan ito ng criticism, si Dr. Domingo (Dr. Domingo has been battered by criticisms). Dr. Domingo, it’s your turn to blast them to pieces,” he said in asking Domingo to present his report to the team.

“Gawain mo lang ‘yang trabaho mo (Just do your job). Do it right and to hell with the criticisms,” he added.

Duterte, a longtime mayor of Davao City before rising to the presidency in 2016, acknowledged that as public servants, criticisms come with the territory. He added that public opinion is part of the country’s vibrant democracy.

“Demokrasya ‘to eh (This is democracy).They are entitled to that right. So… Ikaw naman, you have to take it in stride,” Duterte said.

Duterte admitted that government officials could not please everyone but it was important to perform their job with integrity and efficiency.

“Pareho ka rin ng politiko (You’re like a politician) because we are performing public functions and our actuations are really being observed and people — other people, maligaya. I mean you cannot please them all,” he said.

“So you just do your duty and forget about the… We have trust in you, the Filipino people,” he added.

Domingo, a former Health Undersecretary, was appointed officer-in-charge of FDA in May 2019 after its head was dismissed by the President over alleged corruption. Domingo was formally named FDA head in February 2020.

The government’s regulatory agency is mandated to ensure the safe and efficacy of health products such as food, drugs and vaccines. FDA, an attached agency of the Department of Health, is also in charge of screening experimental vaccines and other medication to prevent or reduce coronavirus disease, and issuing the necessary permits.