DOH Secretaries

Dr. Alfredo R.A. Bengzon

Term: March 1986 – January 1992

As the first Secretary of Health under the restored democracy, Dr. Bengzon had the difficult task of reorganizing the Department of Health, restoring its soul and spirit and delivering it through a tense transition. His previous training in Business Management gave him the proper tools to execute the crucial role dealt by destiny. In his 5 years of administration, he carried out the transition successfully and carried...

Dr. Jesus Azurin

Term: July 1981 - February 1986

Like Dr. A.H. Cruz and Dr. C.S. Gatmaitan, Dr. Jesus C. Azurin rose from the ranks. He joined DOH as Quarantine Officer in 1947. He became Director of Quarantine from 1955 – 1974. As Director of Quarantine, he headed the Philippine research team that conducted one of the few prospective studies in cholera that clarified key questions about the transmission. He initiated on-board health education of passengers in...

Dr. Enrique M. Garcia

Term: July 1979 – June 1981

He graduated Valedictorian in his UP Medicine Class 1937 and topped the Medical Board Examination in 1937. He trained in Thoracic Surgery and was in-charge of the surgical ward of the Philippine General Hospital during the war. He was head of the Department of Surgery of the Quezon Institute and was Director of the Institute in June 1973. He was initiating the organization of the Lung Center before he was appointed...

Dr. Clemente S. Gatmaitan

Term: December 1971 – July 1979

Like Dr. Amadeo Cruz, Dr. Gatmaitan rose from the ranks. He first joined the DOH in 1930 as a physician in the Negros Occidental Provincial Office. He became President of the Sanitary Division in Bulacan from 1932 – 1934. He was Medical Officer in the Bureau of Health, Chief of the Section of School Health Supervision, and then Undersecretary of Health for Medical Services in 1962. He became acting Secretary of...


Term: August 1968 – December 1971

In contrast to the Secretaries of Health who immediately preceded him Dr. Amadeo H. Cruz rose from the ranks. He started as the President of a Sanitary Division in the bureau of Health in 1930. He was Medical Officer then Chief of the Epidemiology and Statistics Section of the Bureau of Health, chief of the Division of Preventable Diseases and then Chief of Field Operations. He was Director of Health Services before his...

Dr. Manuel Cuenco

Term: December 1964-December 1965

He was a graduate of University of Santo Tomas. He was Governor of Cebu from 1946 – 1951and Administrator of Overseas Employment Council in 1962-63 before he was appointed Secretary of Health. He was the son of former Senator Mariano Cuenco. With assistance from the US Agency for International development has emphasized upgrading of medical education.