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Marcos picks personal doctor Samuel Zacate to head FDA

Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appointed his personal doctor, Samuel Zacate, to lead the Food and Drug Administration, Malacañang announced Wednesday.

In announcing Zacate’s appointment, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said he is “a known public health advocate with years of expertise in medicine and medical consultancy in other government units and offices including the Public Attorney’s Office and Presidential Security Group Hospital.”

Angeles added that Zacate was a diplomate for the Philippine Society of Venereology and a fellow of the International College of Surgeons.

Asked if Zacate’s being the personal doctor of Marcos factored in the president’s decision to appoint him as FDA director general, Angeles did not answer the question directly and instead said that the doctor is “eminently qualified” with “several distinctions.”

Zacate is now tasked to head the regulatory body in charge of clearing processed food and drugs before they hit the market.

His role is crucial in light of two simultaneous global health emergencies — COVID-19 and monkeypox — which both threaten the country’s healthcare system. — Xave Gregorio

FERDINAND MARCOS JR.

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION

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