Duque willing to hand over DOH post to 'another Thomasian'

Published December 7, 2021, 12:20 AM

by Dhel Nazario

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Monday, Dec. 6 that he would be willing to vacate his post from the Department of Health (DOH) to a fellow University of Santo Tomas (UST) graduate.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (RTVM Screenshot / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Yes, Mr. President, to another Thomasian,” Duque replied as he was referring to OCTA fellow and UST visiting professor Nicanor Austriaco during the President’s pre-recorded public address.

Austriaco, a molecular biologist, was a guest resource person who was tasked to present about the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant, Omicron. He also gave his perspective on the COVID-19 situation in the country.

READ MORE: Duterte jokingly offers DOH post to biologist Fr. Austriaco after ‘educational’ presentation on Omicron variant

After his presentation, the President himself seemed elated and jokingly offered the position of Secretary of Health to Austriaco as he claimed Duque had been wanting to rest and that he would be happy to relinquish his position for Austriaco.

He, on the other hand, rejected the offer and said that Duque was doing a fine job at it.

Aside from being an OCTA fellow and UST professor, Austriaco who studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shared that he also serves as a Balik Scientist for the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and mentioned that he wanted to impart his education back to the Philippines.