Vergeire: No need for 'loyalty check' after scathing letter


Posted at Mar 21 2023 04:23 PM

ABS-CBN News/File
The Department of Health office in Manila, April 21, 2014. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — There is no need for a "loyalty check" within the Department of Health, according to its officer-in-charge who was accused of running the agency as an "authoritarian ruler".

"Hindi ko kailangan mag-loyalty check," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters Tuesday.

"I know and I trust that our execom officials and our officials of the department have confidence in our systems."

She made the remark after a group of unnamed DOH officials and employees wrote a letter to President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. criticizing Vergeire's management of the agency.

The letter claimed that Vergeire transferred employees without any consultation while others would be replaced by her favored staff.

The DOH employees also said Vergeire was planning an "ambitious" DOH restructuring that only a few were aware or involved.

In a press briefing, Vergeire said this would be the last time she would address the issue.

"I will not allow an anonymous letter to disrupt the Department of Health from doing what needs to be done," she said.

As DOH OIC, she said she had to ensure the agency's mandate would be implemented in an "efficient, appropriate and inclusive manner".

Vergeire also explained that all new administrations undergo restructuring, which is dependent on the President's priority agendas.

As the world observes the International Women's Month, she stressed that female leaders are judged differently than their male counterparts.

"If a woman is vocal and decisive, she risks being called aggressive [and] difficult while men are lauded for their passion and fire in the belly," she said.

"Sa tuwing tayo'y mag-akusa ng kahigpitan sa pamamalakad, sinusuri natin kung ang kahigpitang ito ay tunay na hindi makatarungan o hindi lang ba ito makatarungan dahil babae ang namamalakad," she added.

Courtesy of DOH