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Aquino plans to appoint RH law author as DOH Usec

July 2, 2013 11:41am

(Updated 2:01 p.m.) President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday revealed that he plans to appoint former Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, one of the primary authors of the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill, as health undersecretary.
"She will bring a lot of political savvy to the Department of Health and will enhance the cooperation between the DoH, the local government units and the national government," the President said.
He added that he chose Garin, who was aligned with the Aquino-chaired Liberal Party when she was congresswoman, due to her "extensive experience" as a doctor and a lawmaker.

In a short phone interview, Garin said she was surprised by the President's announcement. "Nagulat ako sa kumpirmasyon ng Pangulo, pero syempre nagpapasalamat ako," she said.
Last May, when asked what she will do after her term ends in June 2013, Garin told GMA News Online that she is looking for avenues where she can still serve the people.
"I can look at aspects where I can be of more use. Kung saan ako pwedeng tumulong, if the President thinks I can help. It all depends on the President," she said.
Garin was one of the House members who pushed for the passage of the RH bill last year despite strong opposition from the Roman Catholic Church.
Aquino signed the RH Law last December, but the legislation is still facing legal challenges before the Supreme Court.

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At the same time, Aquino said he has yet to talk with another administration ally, former Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III, on the possibility of a Cabinet post.
The President added he is still studying the "details" of the possible Cabinet posts for former Senators Panfilo Lacson and Francis Pangilinan, who ended their terms as lawmakers over the weekend.
"Hindi ko pa nakakausap iyong dalawa ano. Meron kaming pinag-aaralan. Siyempre may kasabihan iyong mga Amerikano, the devil is in the details," Aquino said.
He added that he is currently "in touch" with both Lacson and Pangilinan regarding their Cabinet appointments.
Last month, Lacson said an executive order is currently being drafted by Malacañang to create an anti-corruption office which he will eventually head. — KG/RSJ, GMA News

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