DoH ‘respects, confirms’ Leachon resignation

The Department of Health on Thursday said it "respects and confirms" Dr. Anthony "Tony" Leachon's decision to resign from his post as special adviser for non-communicable diseases.

"The Department admires the good doctor's wish to refocus on family, and remains open to any and all good intentions of assistance as we all march forward united towards UHC (Universal Health Care)," the agency said in a statement.

Leachon submitted his resignation letter to Health Secretary Teodoro "Ted" Herbosa on Monday, barely a month after the latter announced his appointment.

In a letter dated 11 September, Leachon cited personal reasons for his resignation.

However, in a separate statement on his social media page, he mentioned budget deliberation of the DoH at the House of Representatives last week served as an "eye-opener" to him.

During the budget deliberation, Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, a former health secretary, questioned the post given to Leachon at the agency.

"It's not good to be defending one's qualifications in the public eye. At this stage, I do not have to prove anything anymore," he said.

"Well, you may find it difficult to cope with the situation, but eventually, you will learn to value yourself and not run after people, positions, and relationships that are not meant for you," he added.

Leachon also noted that he resigned from his post to spare his family from the past issues that continue to haunt him.

"The Dengvaxia case will drag on for years. And they will be trying relentlessly to discredit me all throughout its pendency. People don't care anymore," he said.

Garin was the DoH secretary when the government rolled out the Dengvaxia vaccine to public elementary schools across the country.

At the height of the highly-politicized controversy, Leachon said late President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III could not be blamed for the Dengvaxia mess if he was fed the wrong information by the World Health Organization and then-DoH chief Garin.

Prior to his appointment, Leachon served as a special adviser to the National Task Force against Covid-19 under the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte.

He, however, resigned from his post citing differences with the government's Covid-19 pandemic policies.

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