PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is choosing carefully the members of his Cabinet and he is now in the “final stage” of identifying who will head the health and other departments crucial in this coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, his press secretary said Monday, July 4, 2022.

Marcos, who assumed the highest post in the country last June 30, 2022, has yet to name the secretaries of the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Science and Technology.

In a press briefing Monday, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said the evaluation process is very thorough and Marcos has not set a deadline on when he plans to fill the vacant Cabinet positions.

“Wala pong binibigay na deadline. Masuri talaga ang pag-evaluate nila dito sa mga kandidato para sa mga posisyon. I understand that these are already undergoing the final evaluation stage. I don't think it will take too long,” she said.

Angeles did not confirm whether DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III was among the names being considered to head the health department. Another candidate is reportedly former Health secretary Janette Garin.

“They have to evaluate it very well, but one of the priorities is managing the effects of the pandemic. They must look closely and carefully in the candidate,” she said.

Angeles stressed that the country’s policy and guidelines on Covid-19 response are on status quo, adding that the new secretary of the DOH will make the assessment and recommendations on possible adjustments. (LMY/SunStar Philippines)