Francisco Duque III back as DOH chief

Mara Cepeda

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Francisco Duque III back as DOH chief
Francisco Duque III served as health chief during the Arroyo administration

THE RETURN. Doctor Francisco Duque III replaces Paulyn Ubial as DOH secretary. Photo from GSIS

MANILA, Philippines –  Francisco Duque III is back at the helm of the Department of Health (DOH) after President Rodrigo Duterte appointed him to the post on Thursday, October 26.

The President signed Duque’s appointment paper on Thursday.

Duque replaced Paulyn Ubial, whose ad interim appointment was rejected by the Commission on Appointments on October 10.

Duque is no stranger to the post, as he served as health secretary during the administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from June 2005 to January 2010. 

Duque served as Civil Service Commission chairperson under former president Benigno Aquino III from 2010 to 2015. Duterte earlier appointed Duque as Government Services Insurance Service chairman.

Duque finished medicine at the University of Santo Tomas and later took up a masteral degree in pathology at Georgetown University in Washington DC, United States.  

The new health chief joins the list of former Cabinet officials of the Arroyo administration tapped to serve the Duterte Cabinet, among them, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr, and Chief Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza. – with reports from Pia Ranada/

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.