- Facebook - 16 million
- YouTube - 6.8 million
- Twitter - 17,000
Doc Willie Ong, 58, is an internal medicine specialist, cardiologist, author and medical commentator who gained popularity primarily through social media where he offers medical and healthcare-related advice.
Ong also briefly served as a Department of Health consultant. He left ABS-CBN’s Salamat Doc in 2018 to run for the Senate, running a campaign backed by his substantial online presence and strong support from migrant Filipino workers. For a neophyte candidate, Ong placed a surprisingly high 18th place in the polls with 7.6 million votes.
He has been supportive of the COVID-19 vaccines’ efficacy, a contrast to his vocal opposition to the dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia. The involvement of high-profile figures like Ong in the propagation of unsubstantiated stories about the Dengvaxia controversy may have caused vaccine hesitancy during that period that stretches on until the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to critics. Ong maintains his stance that there is no conflict between his beliefs, arguing that Dengvaxia is different from the COVID-19 vaccines.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso chose Ong as running mate in the 2022 elections for his medical background and expertise. Ong is advocating for health system reform, including improved support for health infrastructure.
The candidate's top priorities if elected to office, tracked against previous promises and accomplishments, if any
- Establish a cancer center, with free treatment for indigent patients and a hospice for recovering patients
- Upgrade 16 regional hospitals
- Increase support for the National Center for Mental Health
- Urged other local government units to emulate the city government of running mate Domagoso and order anti-COVID medicines themselves
- All public hospitals to have a heart center, a dialysis center, a lung center and kidney center,
- Additional Philippine Health Insurance Corp. budget and expanded outpatient coverage
In his 2019 campaign:
- Urged for easier and cheaper access to medicine, treatment and medical advice, including free maintenance medicine, laboratory tests and medical check-ups
- Open to legalizing medical marijuana
- Vowed to champion the Universal Health Care Law, expanding the scope to give free check-ups to the poor
- Gave out free medical advice on social media from experience as a healthcare worker and COVID-19 patient himself.
- Spoke on the importance of looking after mental health while in isolation due to COVID-19 transmission
- Urged national government to place advance orders for 50,000 courses of novel COVID-19 antiviral pill Paxlovid
- Free testing
- Better pay for health workers
- Additional P100 million funding for hospitals for poor patients
- More hospitals, including field hospitals
- Improved data to better reflect actual utilization of hospitals and other health facilities
- Appoint a doctor to head the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases
- Simplified quarantine categories: only ECQ, modified ECQ, general CQ
- More “calm” pandemic response spokesperson
- Faster distribution of 2nd generation COVID-19 vaccines
The candidate's top five accomplishments and contributions for the last 15 years or soPublic Office
Ong was a consultant with the DOH from 2010 to 2014.
Ong worked as an internal medicine specialist and cardiologist while building his mainstream and social media presence as a doler of free medical advice. He is also an author, and his Medicine Blue Book, which was first published 1995, is among the best-selling local medical books.
Ong also created the Co Tec Tai Medical Museum in Pasay City, the first medical museum in the country.
Online medical advice and health tip provider,, 2007 - present
Television and radio show host and guest, 2005 - 2018
Author, Medicine Blue Book,Columnist
Columnist, The Philippine Star and Pilipino Star Ngayon
Actions and/or proceedings pending against or resolved in courts or tribunals involving the candidate, based on publicly available information
Also known as SALN, this document is a declaration of one's personal finances. Philippine Law requires the SALN to be submitted by all public officials and employees to the Ombudsman. Public officials and employees may opt to voluntarily disclose their SALN to the public.
Key details about the candidate's campaign
Running mate of presidential candidate Isko Moreno Domagoso
Candidate's major donors and campaign funding sources
The candidate's top advocacies in the last 15 years or so
Pro-COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 - present
Anti-Dengvaxia vaccine in 2017 - present
Senatorial candidate, 2019
Lost in 2019 elections
Volunteers as doctor
Basic information on the candidate's family, background and work experience
•B.S. Botany, University of the Philippines-Diliman
•Medical degree, De La Salle Health Science Institute
•Masters in Public Health, UP - Manila
•Chief Fellow, Cardiology Fellowship, UP - Philippine General Hospital
•Chief resident, Manila Doctors Hospital