Herbosa fails to get CA confirmation

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 26) — The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Tuesday bypassed the ad interim appointment of Teodoro Herbosa as secretary of the Department of Health due to "lack of material time."

The deliberations on Herbosa's appointment took almost four hours, including an hour of break.

The commission, however, decided to suspend deliberations as lawmakers had to prepare for the plenary session at 3 p.m.

"Considering it's already 2:17 [p.m.], the members of Congress have to be back in Congress by 3 p.m....I move that for lack of material time, we suspend the deliberation of ad interim appointment of Mr. Teodoro Javier Herbosa as secretary of Department of Health," said CA Majority Floor Leader Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, who is also the chairman of the commission, said in a message to reporters that Herbosa's appointment "was bypassed due to lack of material time" but that it "will be taken up again when we get back in November."

In a chance interview with reporters, Villafuerte said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has to reappoint Herbosa to the post as the Congress will adjourn sessions on Sept. 29.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. named Herbosa to lead the DOH in June.

He served as DOH undersecretary from 2010 to 2015 and held the post of regional director at the DOH National Capital Regional Office.

He also served as special adviser to the National Task Force Against COVID-19.

During the deliberations, Herbosa said that among his priorities as DOH chief are addressing tuberculosis cases in the country; increasing the number of immunized children nationwide yearly up to 95%; and reducing cases of malnutrition by 50%.

CA members also asked him questions on issues involving the department.

Villafuerte, who has long pushed for the legalization of medical marijuana, asked for the DOH's stance on it.

Herbosa responded: "We are in favor of the legalization of the medical use of marijuana and its products."

Moreover, Herbosa agreed that internal cleansing must be done within the state insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) amid the recent controversies.

"Kung ito ay hindi pa rin didiretso at hindi pa rin gaganda, baka mag-propose po tayo ng mga mungkahi na legislative na ang pag-correct at pag-improve sa korporasyon," he said.

"Then probably cleanse the PhilHealth of fraudulent individuals na feeding on the tons of money there," Herbosa added.

[Translation: If things are not corrected, we might propose possible legislative measures to improve the corporation. Then probably cleanse the PhilHealth of fraudulent individuals who are feeding on the tons of money there.]