Leachon back as volunteer consultant - DOH chief

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

September 8, 2023, 5:05 pm

<p>Health Sec. Teodoro Herbosa </p>

Health Sec. Teodoro Herbosa 

MANILA – Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa said Friday that Dr. Tony Leachon is back to being a volunteer consultant for the health department.

This was after Iloilo 1st District Rep. and former Department of Health (DOH) secretary Janette Garin questioned Leachon's appointment in April as special adviser for non-communicable diseases.

During the budget deliberations on Thursday, Garin asked Herbosa if it was fair for the government to pay PHP100,000 to "someone with skewed and malicious statements.”

"I talked to Dr. Leachon and he said, ‘I'm willing to be a volunteer consultant.’ He reverted back to being a volunteer consultant without pay. So, tumutulong lang siya sa pamahalaan (he's only helping the government with) whatever expertise he has," Herbosa told reporters on the sidelines of the 1st Philippine National AIDS Council HIV Summit.

During the pandemic, Leachon briefly served as an adviser to the Covid-19 task force.

The House of Representatives panel learned that Leachon has not acquired a master’s degree or doctorate in public health for him to be considered as a health expert.

"Tinanggap ko 'yun, pinabago ko na 'yung kontrata niya. So as per recommendation of Congresswoman Garin na dapat dumaan sa proseso (I accepted it, I had his contract changed based on the recommendation of Congresswoman Garin that process must be observed) if you're going to hire a consultant who get(s) to use government funds," Herbosa said.
He added that no government funds would be given to Leachon as he offered the DOH his voluntary service. (PNA)