The news was confirmed by today (Apr 15) by Trisulee Trisaranakul, Deputy Spokesman of the Prime Minister’s Office, who revealed that the Cabinet meeting today resolved to relocate provincial governors in three provinces in accordance with instructions from the Prime Minister.
Ms Trisulee explained that the Cabinet had resolved to transfer Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana to Petchaburi, where he is to serve as governor.
Petchaburi’s current governor Kobchai Boonoranais to take up the position of Governor of Chaiyaphum province.
Chaiyaphum’s current governor, Narong Woonchiew, will arrive on the island to replace Governor Phakaphong.
The date that the transfer order will become effective has yet to be announced, but will become public when it the transfers are published in the Royal Gazette, Ms Trisulee said.
Asked about his transfer earlier today, Governor Phakaphong avoided answering the question directly, instead telling reporters, “That depends on the Prime Minister’s decision. My part is just to do my job the best I can.
“Our team is harmonized – [we] don’t focus on one person, we work as a team,” was all he would say.
Reports online have questioned the measures implemented by Governor Phakaphong to try to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus on the island, with some saying he did too little too late, while others reported that the measures he rolled out were too harsh.
Phuket currently has the second-highest reported per capita rate of infection in the country, according to Thai health officials.
Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub