Health Secretary Francisco Duque III

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III’s election as chairman of the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific regional committee is proof that the Philippines has an “effective” Covid-19 response, Malacañang said on Thursday.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque made the remark as he extended his congratulations to Duque.

“Our congratulations to Secretary Duque and my classmate in the Cabinet at ito po’y nagpapatunay na nagtitiwala po ang WHO sa kakayahan ni Secretary Duque,” he said in a virtual presser.

Roque claimed that the Philippines, which has the most Covid-19 cases in Southeast Asia at 331,869, has been a model country in pandemic response.

“Siguro po kinikilala natin na sa region eh talagang ang response po natin sa Covid ay mukha naman pong epektibo at naniniwala po ang WHO na tama ang mga hakbang na ginagawa natin para labanan ang Covid-19 habang wala pang bakuna at habang wala pa pong gamot,” he said.

The WHO Western Pacific regional committee is composed of representatives from 37 countries.

According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the committee convenes once yearly “to formulate policies, provide oversight for regional programs, report on their projects and consider, revise and endorse new initiatives.” John Ezekiel J. Hirro