By JOENALD MEDINA RAYOS
ACTING on his previous pronouncements that vacant key positions in his administrations will be filled-up following the lapse of the one-year imposed on the appointment of political candidates who unsuccessfully ran during the May 9, 2022 national and local elections, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. started the ball rolling with the appointment of lawyer Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. as Secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND), together with Dr. Teodoro J. Herbosa as Secretary of the Department of Health (DOH), Monday.
The appointments of Teodoro and Herbosa were announced after President Marcos met with Teodoro and DND Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez, and Herbosa and Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire in separate meetings in Malacañang on Monday afternoon.
The 1987 Constitution, particularly Section 6 of Article IX-B, mandates the appointment ban: “No candidate who has lost in any election shall, within one year after such election, be appointed to any office in the Government or any government-owned or -controlled corporations or in any of their subsidiaries.” Teodoro ran for senate during the May 9, 2022 national and local elections but placed 15th on the race.
Teodoro is relatively returning back to his old post as he also served as the Secretary of Defense during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
He was the former congressman of the First District of Tarlac and has served as the chairperson of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) during his tenure as Secretary of Defense.
Teodoro has a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, majoring in Financial Institutions from the De La Salle University – Manila.
He completed his law degree, graduated at the top of his class at the University of the Philippines (UP), and achieved the top rank in the 1989 Philippine Bar Examinations.
Teodoro also has a Master’s degree in Law from Harvard University.
He was recognized as a Leadership Awardee and Seminar Academic Excellence Awardee during his time at the Air Command and Staff College, Air Education and Training Command Philippine Air Force Command and Staff Course in 2001.
In 2003, he attended the Joint and Combined Staff Officers Course, Class Nr 1, JCSC in Camp Aguinaldo, where he was honored as a Leadership Awardee.
On the other hand, Secretary Herbosa has previously served as an Undersecretary at the Department of Health from 2010 to 2015 contributing to various initiatives such as the Hospital Accreditation Commission, the modernization of the Philippine Orthopedics Center, and promoting Public-Private Partnerships in Health.
He obtained his medical degree from UP-Manila and holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from UP-Diliman.
Herbosa also obtained an International Diploma Course in Emergency and Crisis Management from the University of Geneva and Postgraduate Studies in Medicine from the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University.
From October 2017 to April 2021, Herbosa served as the Executive Vice President of the UP System.
He was also the Chief Division of Trauma at the Department of Surgery, Philippine General Hospital, Chairman of the Board for Physicians for Peace Philippines, and 3rd Vice President of the UP Alumni Association.
Herbosa served as a Professor in Emergency Department at Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and at the National University of Malaysia.
He also served on the Board of Directors for the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM), medical consultant/adviser for the Australasian Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians in Melbourne, Australia, and as Regional Education Coordinator for the HOPE Program (Hospital Preparedness and Emergencies) at John Hopkins University Center for International Emergencies, Disasters, and Refugee Studies (CIEDRS).
Herbosa served as a special adviser to the National Task Force Against Covid-19 and was also an international consultant in several countries, including Palau, Maldives, Malaysia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Tunisia, and Thailand, making notable contributions to emergency medicine and trauma care.
He was also involved in the development of the STOP DEATH Program and a member of the Safe Surgery Saves Lives Global Task Force, which developed the WHO safe surgery checklist.
Prior to his appointment, Herbosa held a prominent position as a Professor at the College of Medicine at UP-Manila.
In addition, as early June of last year, the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAPi) endorsed Herbosa to be the next health secretary.
According to PHAPi President Dr. Rene De Grano, they are hopeful that Marcos’ decision will be in accordance with their recommendation.
“Sa amin pong hanay meron pong mga hospitals, different medical societies, even the PMA [Philippine Medical Association], meron po kaming nirerecommend. Hopefully siya po ang tanggapin ng ating President-elect Bongbong Marcos, na sya po’ng gawing secretary of health,” he said.| With reports from PNA