Mark Allain Manatad
The Monkeypox Zoonotic Virus that was discovered attacking Human cells. Photo courtesy of Reuters (2022).
The Senate urges the appointment of the next Department of Health (DOH) Secretary that will lead other health-related agencies in combatting the newly-reported Monkeypox virus in the Philippines.
DOH reported the first case of the monkeypox virus on Friday, July 29, 2022, from a person with a history of overseas travel. The 31-year-old Filipino arrived back in the country on July 19 and underwent RT-PCR on July 28.
Likewise, members of the Senate are certain that the appointment of a DOH Secretary is needed to focus and contribute a plan to mitigate the said problem.
Meanwhile, President Bongbong Marcos Jr. has appointed DOH undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire as its officer in charge (OIC), pending the appointment of its official chief. The members of the Senate expressed their confidence in the acting OIC, stating that Secretary Vergeire can apply her knowledge and experience in dealing with the virus.
Senator JV Ejercito also suggested that creating an IATF-like agency that focuses on managing the monkeypox virus will also be beneficial. On the other hand, Senator Risa Hontiveros still believes that DOH can provide a solution to this public health emergency even if there is yet to be a health secretary.