Ona’s fate at DOH hangs

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HEALTH Secretary Enrique Ona’s fate still hangs as President Benigno Aquino 3rd has yet to announce whether or not the official can assume his post at the Department of Health (DOH).

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Although Ona’s month-long leave of absence ends today, Malacañang could not ascertain Ona’s status at the Health department.

According to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., Aquino has yet to make a decision since the investigation on the department’s controversial immunization program is still ongoing.

“What I know is that the issue about the implementation of public health policy is still being studied, particularly the immunization programs of the DoH,” Coloma told reporters.

“This is the subject of the inquiry and the study that is now ongoing,” he added.

Reports indicated that Ona met with the President to discuss whether the former could reassume his position or not.

But Coloma did not confirm or deny reports about the supposed meeting but said only the president can decide on the issue at hand.

“It’s best to wait for the president’s decision. While the [probe]is ongoing, the DOH continue to implement important programs and it won’t affect the quality of public service there,” he stressed.

Ona and at least two other Health officials—Dr. Eric Tayag and Ted Herbosa—are being criticized for questionable dealings at the DOH.

Tayag’s position as DOH spokesperson was also removed as well as Herbosa’s position as DOH regional director for National Capital Region (NCR).

Ona went on leave after Aquino ordered him to provide a comprehensive explanation on the procurement of several doses of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine-10 (PCV-10) in 2012 worth P833 million.

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