MANILA, Philippines — A ranking official of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA ) and a Cabinet official during the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have succumbed to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The first fatality was TESDA deputy director general for operations Gladys Fua Rosales who died on April 3. She was 57.
In a statement, TESDA said Rosales “had more than two decades” of experience as a public servant, beginning her career in the National Drug Law Enforcement and Prevention Coordinating Center, the forerunner of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
She also served at the Bureau of Customs until she moved to the TESDA.
“Her remarkable career in government was the result of her dedication, hard work and a sincere desire to give the best service to the public with no compromises to quality nor integrity. Despite her hectic schedule, she always had a ready smile for anyone at any time, a smile that suggests her ardent wish to be of help,” TESDA added.
The other COVID-19 victim was Dr. Renato “Doc” Velasco, a former professor of the University of the Philippines and colleague of Arroyo. He was 66.
Velasco was Arroyo’s speechwriter and chief aide when she became a senator. He later served in her Cabinet as chief of the Presidential Management Staff and director general of the Philippine Information Agency, both with Cabinet rank.
Colleagues described him as a “simple, unassuming and friendly guy.”
In 2003, Velasco, along with Health Secretary Francisco Duque lll, helped in the national government’s efforts to manage the government’s response to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the second Iraq war.
Velasco died at the Lung Center of the Philippines yesterday due to pneumonia, a leading complication of COVID-19.
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.ca