DoH Usec acting FDA head

FDA OIC Rolando Enrique Domingo. (DoH)

Department of Health (DoH) Undersecretary Rolando Enrique Domingo will act as officer-in-charge of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) until the appointment of a new director-general to ensure uninterrupted operations of the agency, the DoH said in a statement Thursday.

On Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo announced the dismissal of FDA head Nela Charade Puno.

Panelo, quoting an official statement from the Palace, said Puno’s dismissal took effect immediately “in line with the President’s continuing mandate to eradicate graft and corruption and to ensure that public officials and employees conduct themselves in a manner worthy of public trust.”

Puno was directed to turn over to the DoH all official documents, papers, and properties in her possession. In August 2016, Duterte appointed Puno as FDA director general.

In a statement on Friday, Puno said she accepts Duterte’s decision “without any ill-feelings.”

“However, I take exception to the mention of so-called ‘corruption allegations’ because I am clueless as to what these are. I have not been charged in any legal proceedings nor am I aware of any official investigations being undertaken in relation to corruption involving me,” she said.

Puno said she is “unfamiliar with the political maneuverings in the bureaucracy” as she came from the private sector before her appointment.

She also said she will leave the FDA with a clear conscience as she has served with “complete honesty, diligence, dedication and loyalty.”

“It was during my tenure that FDA gained three ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certifications, and Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) recognition as the fifth Asean nation member country who(se) regulatory standards were so accredited. I also implemented digitalization of its registration processes, the support to MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) in a joint effort with the Department of Trade and Industry, and strict regulatory enforcement of FDA laws in cooperation with the Philippine National Police,” Puno  added.