GenSan names new economic and health chiefs

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/20 August) — The city government here has reshuffled several key officials of its economic and health offices to further improve delivery of services, Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio said.

Custodio designated effective on Monday  trade and economic specialist Meriam Amerkhan and retired South Cotabato provincial health officer Dr. Edgardo Sandig to head the city’s economic and health departments.

Amerkhan is a former provincial director of the Department of Trade and Industry in South Cotabato and Davao Oriental and was executive director of the Socsksargen Area Development Project Office, which spearheaded the development of the Socsksargen area in the early to mid-1990s as a key growth area.

Socsksargen stands for the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City.

Amerkhan held various senior positions in some local companies, among them in a leading tuna processing and export firm, before agreeing to assume as department head of the City Economic Management and  Cooperative Development Office (CEMCDO).

She replaced former acting CEMCDO chief Glenvil Gonzales, who assumed as assistant city administrator for operations.

“She’s been our top choice to head our economic portfolio and we waited for her to become available for the position,” Custodio said.

She said Amerkhan has more than experiences to help further propel the city’s bid to become a top trade and investment destination in the country and within the surging Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area or BIMP-EAGA.

Dr. Sandig will assume will assume the top post at the City Integrated Health Services Office also on Monday.

Sandig was head of the Integrated Provincial Health Office of South Cotabato before he retired from government service two years ago to assume as senior manager of the United States Agency for International Development (USAid)-funded Private Sector Mobilization for Family Health Project – Phase 2 or PRISM2.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the Local Area Health Development Zones in South Cotabato, a pioneering health services referral system that is now being replicated in several areas in the country.

Sandig replaced Dr. Jacinto Makilang, who will be taking charge of the CIHSO’s anti-Tubeculosis program.

Aside from Sandig, the mayor also earlier appointed Dr. Benjamin Pagarigan Jr. as the new chief of the General Santos City District Hospital. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)