After serving as Health secretary for 5 years, Dr Francisco Duque returns to the Department of Health to take on the same post after the powerful Commission on Appointments rejected the appointment of erstwhile Health chief, Paulyn Ubial.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the order naming Duque to the position, which he held from 2005 to 2010 under the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In a radio interview, the interim Health secretary said on top of his agenda was to focus on rebuilding the health system in Marawi City after government forces ended the siege in the war-torn city where some 200,000 residents were displaced from their homes.

Herminigildo Valle, who was appointed as Officer-in-Charge of the department, said he welcomed the appointment. “Dr Duque is well capable and experienced to take on the job as the health chief,” he was quoted as saying.

Prior to his previous appointment as Health Secretary in 2005, Duque served as CEO and President of the state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth).

After his stint at the DOH, Duque was later named chair of the Civil Service Commission under the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III from 2010 to 2015.

President Duterte named him chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in February this year.

Duque earned both his undergraduate and postgraduate degree from the University of Santo Tomas, took his masters in pathology at the Georgetown University, and studied Executive Education in Public Health Program Management at the Harvard University. MIMS