EDITORIAL - Crucial offices need permanent heads, not just OICs

The Freeman
EDITORIAL - Crucial offices need permanent heads, not just OICs

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said he is happy with how the Officers in Charge (OIC) of the Department of Heath as well as the Department of National Defense are doing.

In short this means he doesn’t see the need to appoint a permanent head to these offices yet.

We think he should.

There is an adage that goes “If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.” While this is indeed true, those two offices happen to be some of the most important right now. Because of the times we live in, anytime we can experience a health emergency like a pandemic threat. Anytime we can become a target of a terrorist attack or be placed in a situation where our swift action can prevent one.

Not to mention our very precarious position with a neighbor just across the ocean.

A permanent head, not just an OIC, can make decisions that will be more binding, more actionable. Someone in a permanent position will have more clout and influence that may be necessary when an emergency situation arises.

We should not wait for a crisis to happen to appoint someone to these crucial offices.

We would hasten to add that the president should also designate a permanent head of the Department of Agriculture, something he is personally handling. However, since he has declared he still wants to achieve some things before turning it over to someone else, we think he is on the right track there.

But still, the speed with which he is appointing permanent heads of some departments and how he is prioritizing some offices over others is a cause for concern.

Despite the badgering, he has yet to appoint a Marawi Compensation Board, the group in charge of compensating the people who lost everything during the 2017 Marawi siege.

That plea became urgent last October yet after an agreement for those left homeless to stay rent-free in a private lot was ending in a month. However, that plea seems to have been ignored. Instead, around that same time in October Marcos named a presidential creative communications adviser whose role is still not clear.

Let’s hope the president realizes how crucial it is that DOH and DND get permanent heads, and how the Marawi Compensation Board matter needs to be attended to immediately.


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