HOUSE Deputy Majority Leader and Iloilo First District Representative Janette Garin questioned the hiring of a consultant by the Department of Health (DOH) that was not vetted by the search committee.

Garin urged the agency to follow the hiring process to avoid duplication of the tasks of experts working full time in the DOH.

“Matanong ko lang po, paano po ba siya Secretary [Herbosa] pinipili? And [will it not be a] duplication of expertise of the people within the department?” Garin asked Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa when the House of Representatives deliberated on the DOH budget for next year on Wednesday.

“Isa lang po ito, Secretary [Herbosa], [kung] kukuha tayo ng consultant na hindi naman dumaan sa search committee… Why don’t we instead align with specialty societies if we’re talking about non-communicable diseases. Why don’t we tap the Philippine Society of Cardiologists, why don’t we tap the Philippine College of Physicians?” she added.

Herbosa admitted that the Health department has five consultants.

Garin called on the department to minimize unnecessary expenses and give priority to the hiring of personnel for the medical assistance program rather than the recruitment of high-paying consultants.