Juan M. Flavier
|Senator of the Philippines|
June 30, 1995 - June 30, 2007
|21st President pro tempore of the Senate of the Philippines|
August 12, 2002 - June 30, 2007
|Secretary of Health|
July 1, 1992 - January 30, 1995
Juan Martin Flavier
June 23, 1935
Tondo, Manila, Philippine Islands
|Died||October 30, 2014 (aged 79)|
Quezon City, Philippines
|Political party||Lakas-Kampi-CMD (since 2009)|
|Lakas-CMD (before 2009)|
|Spouse(s)||Alma Susana Aguila Flavier|
|Children||Jondi, Johnet, James, and Joy|
|Alma mater||University of the Philippines Manila|
Johns Hopkins University
Flavier was born in Tondo, Manila. He was born in a very poor family to semi-literate parents. He eventually moved to Baguio where he finished his secondary studies at the Baguio City National High School. He is trained as a doctor and received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the UP College of Medicine at the University of the Philippines Manila in 1960 and Masters in Public Health from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in 1969.
He was known for his short stature at only 1.5 meters (4' 11").
Flavier went to serve poor rural barangays in Nueva Ecija and Cavite as a "doctor to the barrios". He was a "country doctor" for 30 years. His work was recognized and he was appointed president of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement. in 1967. From 1978 to 1992, he was president of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction.
In 1992, Philippine President Fidel Ramos appointed Flavier Secretary of the Department of Health. During his term, he initiated various health programs such as Oplan Alís Disease, Kontra Kolera, Stop TB, Araw ng Sangkáp Pinoy, Family Planning and Doctor to the Barrios Program. During his term barangay health workers were organized. He served as Secretary of the Department of Health until 1995. He was regularly rated one of the most popular government officials and his department one of the most effective. He was perhaps the most popular Secretary of Health.
In 1995, he ran for senator and won under the Ramos administration ticket and was re-elected to a second term in the 2001 elections, placing second among the 12 winning candidates. As senator, he authored and sponsored several landmark bills including the Traditional Medicine Law, the Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act, Philippine Clean Air Act, Indigenous People's Rights Act, Anti-money Laundering Act, Barangay Micro-Business Enterprise, National Service Training Program for Tertiary Students, Dangerous Drugs Act, Plant Variety Protection Act, Philippine Nursing Act, the Tobacco Regulation Act, and the law declaring Eid'l Fitr a national public holiday in the Philippines.
When he was senator he had a perfect attendance record during sessions, a fact mentioned in the Senate resolution marking his death, which read in part, "The hard-working legislator registered a perfect attendance during the sessions and was instrumental in the enactment of landmark legislations promoting public health care and improving the quality of life of the people." He was also the "poorest" senator, with a net worth on his 2005 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) of 3.49 million Philippine pesos.
Flavier died of pneumonia-related sepsis and organ failure at 16:00 PST (GMT+8) on October 30, 2014, at the age of 79. He was admitted to the intensive care unit of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City as early as September 11.
Flavier wrote a regular newspaper column about his experiences as a doctor in the countryside, even while he served at Health Secretary.