MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said on Thursday he was "happy" with the performance of officers-in-charge (OICs) in several government agencies.
At the same time, Marcos sought patience while the health, defense, and agriculture departments, as well as the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), remained without permanent heads.
"Sa DA (Department of Agriculture)––sa DND (Department of National Defense)… Happy ako with the situation as it is now. We’ll see. We always––these things are revisited especially every year, at the end of the first year," Marcos said during a chance interview.
"I don’t think that’s any, that’s a secret to anyone, that at the end of the first year, ‘yung mga ibang kandidato (other candidates), they will now join the mix of possible nominees. So let’s be patient," he added.
Marcos earlier picked former military chief Jose Faustino Jr. as defense secretary. However, he first had to serve as OIC because under the law, retired military officials may only be appointed to a government post a year after their retirement.
Faustino retired on Nov. 12, 2021. There is no word yet from Malacañang on when he would be named as full-fledged defense secretary, as of this posting.
Meanwhile, Marcos said DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire was "doing a fine job."
"We are still not out of the pandemic, so we have to continue to be careful," he said.
Marcos' first press secretary, lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles, resigned in October due to health reasons, according to Malacañang. Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil serves as officer-in-charge for OPS.
Marcos himself temporarily heads the agriculture department. On Wednesday, he said he had yet to pick a secretary for the agency because because “the list keeps changing” and that there were “some things he would like to achieve before leaving the department.”
The President earlier extended the term of OICs until this December.
"Ako, ang concern ko lang ‘yung kailangan gawin na trabaho, nagagawa. So far naman, nagagawa," he said during Thursday's interview.
(My only concern is that the work that needs to be done should be accomplished. So far, it's being done.)