President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said he had yet to appoint a secretary of health as he claimed the decision was not only about Covid-19,

In an interview with TV host Toni Gonzaga, the president said the Department of Health (DOH) was about public health in general.

“We have to remember that the DOH is not about Covid alone. It’s about public health in general, so that’s another side of it. And it’s as important as Covid is,” he said.

Marcos Jr. said the country was also dealing with rising dengue rates, the second-highest HIV infection rate in the world, and tuberculosis, among others.

Marcos Jr.’s government, which is without DOH chief, earlier removed the country’s mandatory mask-wearing policy in outdoor areas.

It is also preparing to transition the country out of Covid-19 state calamity.

Maria Rosario Vergeire serves as the DOH’s officer-in-charge. John Ezekiel J. Hirro