The BGA Philippines Team, led by Managing Director Victor Andres Manhit, wrote an update to clients on President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s swearing in of new defense and health chiefs.


  • Marcos has announced new appointees to head the Department of National Defense (DND) and Department of Health (DOH) almost a year after assuming office. Neither department had a permanent head since the start of his administration.
  • Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr., a lawyer, was appointed secretary of national defense, and Dr. Teodoro “Ted” Herbosa, a physician, was named secretary of health. They will replace officers in charge DND Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez and DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, respectively.


  • Teodoro has returned as DND secretary, having previously held the position under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from 2007 to 2009. During the 2022 national elections, Teodoro ran for Marcos’ former Senate seat, which he lost. His return to the DND follows the lapse of the one-year ban on appointing losing candidates in the 2022 elections to the Cabinet.
  • Herbosa, the new DOH head, previously served as health undersecretary from 2010 to 2015, having been appointed by then-President Aquino. He has held key heath care positions over the course of his career, such as chief of the Department of Surgery’s trauma division at the Philippine General Hospital, which have furnished him with deep experience and expertise in health care systems, public health, hospital administration and emergency and disaster medicine.


  • Given their significant experience, Teodoro and Herbosa are expected to provide much-needed policy stability and continuity. Both previously served as key officials of the agencies they now lead and will leverage deep insights gained from years of experience in the public and private sectors.

We will continue to keep you updated on developments in the Philippines as they occur. If you have any questions or comments, please contact BGA Philippines Managing Director Victor Andres Manhit at

Best regards,

BGA Philippines Team