RH advocate is new DOH undersecretary

MANILA, Philippines - Deputy Majority Leader of the 15th Congress and former Iloilo Rep Janette Garin will be joining the Department of Health (DOH) as its new undersecretary.

President Benigno Aquino III confirmed her appointment on Tuesday, July 2, on the sidelines of a Philippine National Police (PNP) event.

Aquino said Garin's "extensive practice and knowledge as a medical practioner," added with her legislative background, makes her the perfect fit for the post.

Garin was an ally of Aquino in the House, and a co-author of the Reproductive Health Bill. The passage of the controversial RH Bill has been hailed by the Aquino administration as one of its major achievements.

Garin, who belongs to a political family in Iloilo, allied with the Liberal Party in the 2013 elections.

Meanwhile, Aquino brushed off questions about offering Liberal Party member and former Quezon Rep Erin Tañada a possible Cabinet position. He said he has not yet talked to Tañada, who he said is busy dealing with questionable election results in his home province.

Garin joins other former lawmakers who have been offered positions in the government by Aquino. Former senators Ping Lacson and Francis Pangilinan are expected to join Aquino's Cabinet, although Aquino said they have not finalized anything.

"The devil is in the details… [but] I'm in touch with both of them," he said. - Rappler.com