DOH gives final tribute for late Health Secretary Flavier today PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 14:00

By Leilani S. Junio


The remains of former Health Secretary Juan M. Flavier will be brought today to the Department of Health (DOH) in Manila for a morning tribute and necrological service prior to cremation in a private ceremony in the afternoon.

Acting Health Secretary Janette L. Garin said on Monday the necrological rites will begin at 8 a.m. at the DOH Convention Hall.

Dr. Flavier, who was DOH secretary from 1992 to 1995 under the Ramos administration, died last Oct. 30 at the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Quezon City due to multiple organ failure secondary to pneumonia. He was 79.

Flavier also served as senator for two six-year terms — from 1995 to 2007.

His remains lie in state at the Church of the Risen Lord at the University of the Philippines (UP) Campus in Diliman, Quezon City until dawn of Tuesday.

As a sign of mourning and respect for the passing away of the former DOH chief, the Philippine flag was ordered to be at half-mast in all offices and agencies of the DOH nationwide since the weekend until Nov. 5, Garin said.

“Dr. Juan Martin Flavier was among the best pioneering Filipino public health experts and public health communication ‘specialists’ the DOH had ever had,” said Garin.

She cited that the late DOH chief’s charismatic and charming wit towered among his colleagues at the DOH and the larger Philippine health community as he combined his wit, humor, folksy disposition, and humble ways in decisively advancing his health advocacies and programs.

“He will be eternally honored and remembered as a Secretary of Health who made the DOH an institution and an instrument of the government in genuinely serving the Filipino people through his innovative, powerful, and effective health campaigns and advocacies,” Garin added.

As a senator, Dr. Flavier used such powerful tools in crafting legislation which focused on public health issues and concerns that enormously benefit millions of Filipinos today, and will continue to contribute to the welfare of Filipinos of tomorrow.

Dr. Flavier is a giant in the history and development of Philippine public health.

He will be remembered fondly for his “Oplan Alis Disease,” the nationwide mass immunization campaign against polio, “YosiKadiri,” the anti-tobacco campaign, and the “Doctors to the Barrio,” which encouraged graduates of medical schools to work and serve in the far-flung under-served, poor communities and barangays.

“His ‘Let’s DOH It’ battle cry was an instant hit, becoming a household phrase while he served honestly and with integrity the Filipino people as Secretary of Health. His legacy serves as an inspiration for us in the Department of Health to continue his pioneering public health programs,” Garin said.

With his track of records, the small man with “giant mind” is also aptly described as “the Filipino people’s public health champion,” both in the executive and legislative branches of the government.