The Manila Times

Vergeire accused of ‘authoritarian’ management


A GROUP of unnamed officials and employees of the Department of Health (DoH) has claimed that its current officer in charge Maria Rosario Vergeire is running the department as an “authoritarian ruler.”

In a letter written to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and other government officials, a copy of which was obtained by The Manila Times, the employees claimed that Vergeire ran the DoH “like her fiefdom and treats everyone, including undersecretaries and assistant secretaries as if [they were] her own subjects and must follow all her orders.”

“She transfers offices, employees and functions without any consultation nor consent of those involved. You will only know the changes once it is published in the DoH intranet showing the Department Order about the affected changes,” they said.

The letter also claimed that Vergeire had started transferring DoH personnel to be replaced by their favored staff. Vacant positions with permanent items are being awarded to favored DoH job-order holders, even if they are new.

It also added that newly appointed DoH directors never passed through the selection and promotion process but were directly endorsed for appointment by Vergeire.

It also claimed that the DoH is “facing disaster” with the way Vergeire has run

things and that demoralization is high among members of the department’s executive committee, which includes all undersecretaries and assistant secretaries, directors, and all rank-and-file employees.

The letter also alleges Vergeire of having a “bad habit of letting her favored staff get permanent item positions in the bureaus but eventually transferring them to the Public Health Services Team.”

It also said that Vergeire was planning an “ambitious restructuring of the DoH bureaucracy” that is shrouded in mystery that even other undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, directors, and rank-and-file employees have no knowledge about it.

“The proposed restructuring had been done in complete secrecy that even now only a few are aware. The DoH union has requested that they be involved in the drafting of the plan, but they were flatly refused by Undersecretary Vergeire. They were told that they will be informed of the restructuring once it was approved,” the employees said.

The anonymous senders said that several offices and employees have already written to Marcos raising their concerns. They urged him to ask the undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, directors and employees of the DoH regarding their sentiments aganst Vergeire.

In a statement sent to The Times in reaction to the letter, the DoH said that all of the decisions in the department were done with proper consultations, and all hiring and restructuring within the agency were done through the proper procedures.

“These reforms are part of the goal of the DoH to continuously improve the systems and processes to better serve the Filipino people,” it added.

The DoH said it is open to have a dialogue with the concerned stakeholders on matters concerning the operations and management of the department.

“However, as they chose to remain anonymous, we will wait for the proper channels in order to do so, “it added.

It also said that the letter will not distract the DoH from “continuing our functions and duties in leading the healthcare sector, to bringing more responsive and quality health care to all Filipinos,”

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