OATH-TAKING. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday (June 6, 2023) administers the oath-taking of newly-appointed Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro at Malacañan Palace in Manila. Teodoro was also Defense secretary during the administration of former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. (Photo courtesy of Presidential Photojournalists Association)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday administered the oath of office to Gilberto Teodoro Jr. and Teodoro Herbosa as Defense and Health secretaries.

Teodoro and Herbosa took oath in separate ceremonies at Malacañan Palace in Manila.

The oath-taking rites were held a day after Malacañang announced the appointments of the two new secretaries.

Marcos met with Teodoro and Defense Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Herbosa and Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire in separate meetings at Malacañan on Monday afternoon.

Teodoro also served as the secretary of the Department of National Defense during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

He was also the chairperson of the National Disaster Coordinating Council during his tenure as DND chief.

Teodoro also became congressman of the First District of Tarlac.

He completed his law degree, graduated at the top of his class at the University of the Philippines (UP), and achieved the top rank in the 1989 Philippine Bar Examinations.

He also has a Master of Laws degree from Harvard University.

Teodoro was also recognized as a Leadership Awardee and Seminar Academic Excellence Awardee during his time at the Air Command and Staff College, Air Education and Training Command Philippine Air Force Command and Staff Course in 2001.

In 2003, he attended the Joint and Combined Staff Officers Course, Class No. 1, JCSC in Camp Aguinaldo, where he was honored as a Leadership Awardee.

In a post on its official Facebook page, the Department of Health (DOH) welcomed Herbosa's appointment.

“The DOH family welcomes this development, as this is crucial in the Department's operations. With this transition, the DOH ensures that the healthcare services will remain unhampered,” the statement read.

Herbosa pledged to continuously usher universal health care by sustaining gains, strengthening health sector strategy interventions and introducing healthcare reforms.

Philippine College of Physicians vice president and infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante said Herbosa came from the ranks and possess a lot of competencies under his name -- a public health expert and a professor.

“Hopefully, he can build up on the programs achieved by the previous administration including that of Undersecretary OIC Vergeire, which must be continued, and to improve on it, and to implement it, especially the Universal Health Care Law (UHC),” he said.

Solante also suggested that public healthcare facilities should be improved under the current administration for the DOH to provide services and treatments to Filipinos in line with the UHC implementation.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. administers the oath-taking of Dr. Teodoro Herbosa as secretary of the Department of Health. (Photo courtesy of Presidential Photojournalists Association)

Herbosa was the adviser of the National Task Force Against Covid-19 from 2020 to 2021 under the Duterte administration.

Herbosa holds a medical degree and has extensive experience in healthcare systems, public health and emergency medicine.

Herbosa served as a special adviser to the National Task Force Against Covid-19 and was also an international consultant in several countries, including Palau, Maldives, Malaysia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Tunisia and Thailand, making notable contributions to emergency medicine and trauma care.

Prior to his new appointment, Herbosa held a prominent position as a Professor at the College of Medicine at UP-Manila.

Herbosa previously served as undersecretary at the Department of Health from 2010 to 2015, contributing to various initiatives such as the Hospital Accreditation Commission, the modernization of the Philippine Orthopedics Center, and promoting public-private partnerships in Health.

From October 2017 to April 2021, Herbosa served as the executive vice president of the UP System.

He was also the chief of Division of Trauma at the Philippine General Hospital's Department of Surgery; chairperson of the Board for Physicians for Peace Philippines; and 3rd Vice President of the UP Alumni Association.

He also served on the Board of Directors for the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine; medical consultant or adviser for the Australasian Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians in Melbourne, Australia; and as Regional Education Coordinator for the Hospital Preparedness and Emergencies (HOPE) Program at John Hopkins University Center for International Emergencies, Disasters and Refugee Studies.

He was also involved in the development of the STOP DEATH Program and a member of the Safe Surgery Saves Lives Global Task Force, which developed the WHO safe surgery checklist.

Herbosa served as a professor in Emergency Department at Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and at the National University of Malaysia.

He obtained his medical degree from UP-Manila and holds a bachelor's degree in Biology from UP-Diliman.

Herbosa also obtained an International Diploma Course in Emergency and Crisis Management from the University of Geneva and Postgraduate Studies in Medicine from the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. (PNA)