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DOH's Herbosa, DA's Laurel get CA nod

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Appointments confirmed Tuesday the Cabinet appointees of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to the health and agriculture departments. 

The powerful panel finally approved the ad interim appointment of Department of Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa after it bypassed his confirmation last September due to “lack of material time.”

Sen. Bong Go, who chairs the CA health committee, said that Herbosa is “definitely well-qualified with his credentials and experience to be the right person as a secretary of health.”

“We have before us a surgeon, crisis management expert, professor, and experienced public officer,” Go said in his sponsorship speech.

Herbosa assumed the role of health chief in June, nearly a year after Marcos took office. He had previously served as a special adviser to the National Task Force Against COVID-19 and as a health undersecretary from 2010 to 2015. 

Department of Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. also cleared the CA confirmation. Laurel, who headed deep sea fishing company Frabelle Fishing Corporation, took over the agriculture portfolio that Marcos held for over a year. 

Rep. Albert Garcia (Bataan), chair of the CA’s committee on agriculture, said that Laurel “left an indelible mark in the industry” and would bring a “wealth of experience” to his role as agriculture chief.

During the 2022 national elections, Laurel donated at least P30 million in cash to Marcos' political party, Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, the source of 40% of all of Marcos’ declared campaign funds, according to a report by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.