Evaluation of candidates for positions still vacant in the final phase

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is moving closer to completing his cabinet as the selection process for the remaining vacancies is now in the “final evaluation phase,” the Palace said Monday.

“It takes time to assess candidates for these positions. I understand that this is now moving to the final evaluation stage. So I don’t think it’s going to take too long,” publicist Trixie Cruz-Angeles said during a press briefing.

“There is no time limit. What we are saying is that we assess candidates very well,” she added.

Marcos, she said, is always looking for qualified people to lead the departments of health, energy, science and technology, environment and natural resources, and housing and development. urban.

The health portfolio, Cruz-Angeles said, is crucial given the ongoing pandemic.

“[It is taking a while] only [because] they will have to evaluate it very well and completely. The president is fully aware of this, and moreover one of the priorities is to manage the effects of this pandemic. So you must also understand that this is so important. They have to look very closely and carefully at the candidates,” she added.

A group of nurses have urged the president to appoint someone with “malasakit” or concern for Filipinos as chief health officer.

“The next health secretary should not only have technical and special skills in public health and administration, but also have a heart for the people,” said Filipino Nurses United President Maristel Abenojar.

“We want someone who can act quickly while still consulting with constituents, especially health workers who are partners with DOH in implementing health programs,” she added.

Abenojar also expressed hope that the Marcos administration would address the shortage of nurses in public health facilities across the country.

“We lack nurses because they go abroad. Last December 31, the DOH reported that 316,405 Filipino nurses were working overseas, or 34% of all Filipino registered nurses,” she said.

FNU, she said, is pushing for a starting salary of 50,000 pesos for nurses nationwide.

Meanwhile, Cruz-Angeles said there is no official word yet as to when the first Cabinet meeting will take place.

“But the secretaries have the possibility – those who have been appointed – to do the assessments. All of this will be taken into consideration,” she said.

Marcos attended his first flag-raising ceremony in Malacanang on Monday, where he urged palace workers – whom he called “partners” – to keep doing their jobs well.

“I know how hard you work and you do your job without choosing, but you just follow whoever people choose to occupy this palace,” he said.

“I hope this is the start of a very good working relationship between us.”

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