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DOST VIII's Regional Director, Engr. Edgardo M. Esperancilla received the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Regional Award during the Pasidungog/ Awarding Ceremony of the Civil Service Commission's Search for Outstanding Government Workers last October 24, 2018, at the Summit Hotel, Tacloban City, for his exemplary performance as a visionary leader and public servant.
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A group of pathologists from different countries in Asia will examine the effects and safety concerns of Dengvaxia vaccine, subject to the approval by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who said that the pathologists came from Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Singapore, from where the President will choose three experts who will comprise the panel which will look into the matter.

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, however, has yet to confirm if the President will be able to create the panel and the duration of the study. He said that the health experts will be given compensation for their work.

“Mayroon naman po tayong sapat na budget para sila’y imbitahan dito sa Pilipinas at mag-aral doon sa kung anong dapat nilang pag-aralan para magkaroon sila ng konklusyon sa tunay na epekto ng Dengvaxia,” Roque said.

Duque has said that the foreign pathologists will be tasked to scrutinize findings from the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital and the Public Attorney’s Office in relation with the dengue immunization program.

The expert panel’s output and recommendation will be submitted directly to the Department of Justice.

The government will also set up additional mechanisms to ensure their full independence.

Earlier, said that the conflicting findings of the UP-PGH and PAO, which conducted autopsies on children whose deaths were linked to the vaccine, prompted Duterte to “seek further advice” through the foreign panel of experts.

Last February, the UP-PGH said that only three of the 14 children who died of various causes some time after receiving Dengvaxia, died of dengue, and none of the deaths could directly be attributed to the vaccine.

The PAO, however, stood by its findings and has even filed criminal charges against Duque, former Health secretary Janette Garin and several others over the deaths of the schoolchildren administered with the vaccine and later died.