President Bongbong Marcos has appointed his personal physician as the new FDA chief.
PRESIDENT BONGBONG MARCOS — The President has appointed his personal physician Dr. Samuel Zacate as the new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief.
This was announced by Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles during the press briefing on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.
According to Cruz-Angeles, Dr. Zacate is a known public health advocate who has years of expertise in medical consultancy and in medicine in other government offices and units — including the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) and the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Hospital.
Also, Dr. Zacate is a fellow of the International College of Surgeons and a diplomate of the Philippine Society for Venereology.
Cruz-Angeles was asked if the role of Dr. Zacate as President Bongbong Marcos’ personal physician was a factor in the designation. According to her, Dr. Zacate is qualified for the said position.
“As you know, to be the FDA head, you have to at least be a doctor or a pharmacist. He is qualified plus he has several distinctions, so we’re not sure if his being a personal physician actually factored into this, considering he ticks all the boxes, meaning lahat ng (all) requirement bilang FDA chief, he fulfills,” she said.
Manila Bulletin reported that Dr. Zacate was the President’s lead physician when he tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in July 2022.
Aside from Dr. Zacate, Cruz-Angeles also announced that four other officials were designated by the President to various government offices:
- retired Brigadier General Roman “Popong” Felix – Secretary, Office of the Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs
- retired Major General Ariel Caculitan – OPAMA Undersecretary for Military Affairs
- retired general General Isagani Nerez – Undersecretary for Police Affairs
- Attorney Nesauro Firme – Judicial and Bar Council