Pres. Duterte appoints trailblazer chief of Southern PHL Medical Center as new DOH Usec

New DOH Usec points out things he could help improve on in DOH including coordination, harmonization of work with IATF and with community’s needs

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque presents the new Department of Health Undersecretary, Dr. Leopoldo Vega, the medical chief of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (Courtesy PCOO)


(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed the head of the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City as the new undersecretary of the Department of Health (DOH) after expressing his disappointment with the slow release of cash benefits to health care workers who were severely affected by COVID-19, including the families of health workers who died in the line of duty.

Dr. Leopoldo “Bong” Vega, SPMC chief, said he was “very humbled and honored” for the trust and confidence given to him by President Duterte.

-Dr. Vega accepts challenge, thanks Duterte for his trust-

“I am taking this challenge for this new field of work,” he

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Duterte has spoken very highly of Dr. Vega since he was responsible for the modernization and expansion of the Southern Philippines Medical Center, the first hospital owned and managed by the Philippine government in Davao City.

Dr. Leopoldo Vega, the medical chief of the Southern Philippines Medical Center, is appointed as new Department of Health Undersecretary by President Rodrigo Duterte.  (Courtesy PCOO)

Roque said that Dr. Vega was responsible for the establishment of the very first heart institute in Mindanao, and was also responsible for setting up an institute for women’s health in the hospital.

Asked if what is the most important thing that should be done at the DOH, Vega said that it is a “very good coordination” of work and having this match the needs of the community.

I think ang pinaka-importante dito is a very good coordination between the Department of Health, and how it is able to respond to the needs and services of the community,” he said.

Dr. Vega said that the DOH should also be able to harmonize its actions with how the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) would want the department to respond.

Ang malaking responsibity dito is making sure that the services are given and it creates an impact to the community,” Undersecretary Vega said.

-Management of processes within-

“This is going to be a new challege it’s a different field, but I’m prepared to learn,” he said.

Vega said that the challenge is really on “how we administer and manage the processes within and able to collaborate.”

Roque said that Dr. Vega will be the DOH Undersecretary for Special Concerns, and that one of the major concerns right now of the DOH was COVID-19.

Dr. Vega had also served as the first medical director of the Davao Medical School Foundation.  His specialization is cardiothoracic surgery.

(Eagle News Service)