MANILA – The government had to let go of physician and health reform advocate Dr. Tony Leachon as special consultant to the National Task Force on coronavirus disease Covid-19 (NTF Covid-19) due to his preemptive releases of some information prior to the official announcement that “jeopardized” the communication efforts of the task force in addressing the pandemic, NTF Covid-19 chief implementer, Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. clarified Wednesday.
Galvez, also presidential peace adviser, issued the statement after Leachon announced his resignation as special adviser for the task force in a Facebook post.
“We have to let go of Dr. Leachon because the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) and NTF are collegial bodies that have to work in sync with each other. After all, the main objective of both bodies is to serve the Filipino people and seek the common good,” Galvez said.
Galvez said Leachon had already been cautioned to refrain from doing it “but remained deaf to collegial advice.”
“Constructive criticism among colleagues is most welcome to assure improvement but this should have been done internally to maintain the unity of effort,” he added.
Galvez, however, said he maintains his respect for Leachon and thanked him for the services he rendered to the task force.
Meanwhile, he said while government efforts are not always perfect, he assured that “the majority of those who serve are doing so with a lot of dedication even at the risk of their own lives.”
“Although transparency to the Filipino people is our primary objective, allowing the course of the decision-making process to take place is a must in order to derive the best decision that will serve the common good,” he said, adding that the problems confronted by the country “were all new and we learn as we go.”
Galvez expressed his support to the medical personnel and healthcare staff of the Department of Health, who continue to man their forts despite the losses in their ranks.
He said these trying times call for compassion and understanding and unity of effort should run complementary.
“We cannot afford to be divisive in this fight were coming together as one will make us stronger to face this global health issue,” he said. (PNA)
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