WATCH | Ubial rejected as Health chief

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Senator Gregorio Honasan grills Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial before she was rejected by the Commission on Appointments on Tuesday. (photo by Joseph Vidal, Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE – 2:22 p.m.) The Commission on Appointments rejected the ad interim appointment of Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial on Tuesday, October 10.

Ubial became the fifth member of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Cabinet rejected by the CA after Perfecto Yasay (Foreign Affairs), Gina Lopez (Environment and Natural Resources), Judy Taguiwalo (Social Welfare and Development) and Rafael Mariano (Agrarian Reform).

Senator Gregorio Honasan, chair of the CA’s health committee, said there were 13 votes to reject Ubial.

Kabayan Representative Harry Roque, who had opposed Ubial’s confirmation, said her rejection “averted a major public health disaster” as he urged Duterte to “appoint an exceptional doctor with proven managerial skills and an actual health agenda to head the DOH.”

“The success of universal health care lies in the hand of the next DOH secretary,” Roque said. “Let’s not blow it a second time around.” (with Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, InterAksyon)