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WHO chief Tedros, Tony Blair meet with Marcos

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. met with World Health Organization (WHO) director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and former United Kingdom prime minister Tony Blair in separate courtesy calls at Malacañang on Tuesday.

According to the Palace, Marcos and Blair talked about a wide range of topics about bureaucracy and governance based on the best practices in developed countries.

Present at the meeting were Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevara, Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo, and Ilocos Norte Representative Sandro Marcos.


Former UK prime minister Tony Blair and Pres. Bongbong Marcos talk on Oct. 25, 2022
Former UK prime minister Tony Blair and Pres. Bongbong Marcos talk on Oct. 25, 2022

Marcos and Blair met in the United States during the former’s working visit in New York. They tackled peace process in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as well as other issues like food security, climate action, and trade.

Blair is the executive chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.

During Marcos' meeting with Tedros, he emphasized the necessity of finding a balance between the economy and people's safety, adding the effectiveness of the Philippines' COVID-19 vaccine campaign. 

Marcos said the Philippines will stop treating the COVID-19 pandemic as an emergency but that it will not yet lift the state of calamity.

Earlier in the day, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco announced that Marcos is set to issue an executive order making the wearing of face masks in indoor areas voluntary.

The President also called for a renewed focus on general public health concerns as cases of other diseases increase.

Tedros is in the Philippines to participate in the 73rd World Health Organization Western Pacific Regional Committee Meeting (WPRCM) being held in Manila from October 24 to 28.

Joining Tedros in the meeting were WHO Chef de Cabinet Dr. Catharina Boehme and Director of Programme Management Dr. Corinne Capuano of WHO Western Pacific Regional Office.

Marcos, meanwhile, was joined by Lagdameo and Department of Health officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire. — BM, GMA News