President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said former Philippine top cop Camilo Cascolan was appointed to the Department of Health (DOH) to oversee its administrative functions, not to be a decision-maker in crucial health issues.

Marcos Jr. said the appointment of Cascolan would help him achieve his goal of rightsizing the government.

“It’s not health issues that he has to look at, that’s why he doesn’t have to be a doctor. He’s going to look at the function of the DOH,” Marcos said in an ambush interview.

“We talked about rightsizing. We talked about structural changes. ‘Yun, we need somebody to examine what has been going on,” he added.

Cascolan’s appointment as health undersecretary has been criticized by lawmakers and health workers given his police background and as the DOH continues to operate without a secretary.

Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire serves as the DOH’s officer-in-charge.

Marcos Jr. earlier said he would only appoint a DOH secretary once the country has hurdled the Covid-19 pandemic. John Ezekiel J. Hirro