For the first time, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has a surgeon-general who is female. Colonel Fatima Claire S. Navarro was appointed to the post effective July 1. Her appointment was made through a letter addressed to National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Fifty-three-year-old Navarro earned her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Santo Tomas in 1992. She went on to the AFP Medical Center to take a postgraduate medical internship until 1993. She later graduated at the top of her class as probationary 2nd Lieutenant in the Technical Service Probation Officers Course, officially entering military service.
As a requirement for her Naval Education and Training, she joined and served in the Philippine Air Force General Hospital. Navarro’s Pediatrics Residency Training was at the AFP Medical Center in 1995, three years after which she got certified by the Philippine Pediatrics Society. When she served as chief at the AFP Medical Center (known as Victoriano Lina Medical Center today), she held several positions.
Prior to taking the position, Navarro was made deputy commander of the AFP Regional Task Force in the National Capital Region (NCR) Comprehensive and Responsive Elements. This occurred during the outbreak of the pandemic. She had been providing operational support to the National Task Force Against Covid19.