THE Department of Health (DOH) on Friday renewed its opposition to aerial spraying, saying the agency's position "won't change along with the change of its secretary."

DOH assistant secretary Paulyn-Jean Ubial said the heath agency is standing by the result of its study that found aerial spraying harmful.

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

"The DOH has already submitted its position on the matter to the President, but even as there have been changes in its leadership, it won’t be changing its stand," Ubial said in an interview after the Kapihan sa PIA media forum.

Ubial, however, admitted that "the decision to ban aerial spraying still rest upon the administration."

"As a health agency, we look at the health aspect, but now it’s up to the President and econ planners whether they will ban it or not based on other perspective or other information on the economic consideration," Ubial said.

Ubial said the DOH's study is extensive. "It's not just looking into the study of DOH conducted in Davao del Sur, but it also looked into other studies locally and internationally."

"The environmental occupational office of the DOH reviewed all the studies in the documents and even interviewed representatives from some of the countries who also banned aerial spraying…," Ubial said.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo named Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral as new Health secretary, replacing Francisco Duque III, who was appointed as new Civil Service Commission (CSC) chairman last month.

Ubial also brushed away speculation that the appointments had to do with aerial spraying.

"It had nothing to do with the aerial spraying issue. It was in the pipeline na lilipat si Secretary Duque. In fact, this December, we knew Duque will be at CSC but we didn't know who will be Health secretary," Ubial said.