Health Secretary Ona is extending his leave – Malacanang

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MANILA, Nov 29 — Health Secretary Enrique Ona is not resigning but he is extending his leave of absence, Malacanang has confirmed.

Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Secretary Ona has denied submitting a letter of resignation to the President on Thursday.

“My understanding is that Secretary Ona has already submitted his report that was asked, that was required of him by President Aquino, and that Secretary Ona is extending his leave of absence to afford the President time to assess the contents of the report that he has submitted,” she said in a press briefing at the Palace.

“My understanding is that Secretary Ona has already submitted his report that was asked, that was required of him by President Aquino, and that Secretary Ona is extending his leave of absence to afford the President time to assess the contents of the report that he has submitted,” she said in a press briefing at the Palace.

Valte told reporters that she has no information as to how long Ona’s leave of absence would be. She however noted that the leave is not indefinite.

She also asked the press to allow the President some time to go over the report submitted by Ona.

Asked if the President still has confidence in Ona and whether the latter will remain as health secretary, Valte said it would be unproductive to speculate on these matters at this time and that only the President could answer those questions.

“Now that Secretary Ona has given the answers to that, it is now time for the President to assess the answers that have been given to him, and also to perhaps propound additional questions,” she said.

“The way that it works with the President is that he really has to go through it to see if the data that has been submitted to him, sufficiently answers his questions.”

Secretary Ona’s status now depends on the outcome of the assessment of the President, she said.

Ona went on a medical leave on October 28 purportedly because he had eczema and had an allergic reaction to a hair dye he used.

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