• Melo Acuna

Duque blames his staff; Sen. Lacson calls on health executive to "Just go."

Health Secretary Duque refuses to take responsibility; blames subordinates

MANILA – Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said it was his subordinates who failed to deliver the needed assistance ranging from P100,000 to P1 million to medical front liners who were afflicted with the dreaded novelcoronavirus (COVID-19).

In a recorded address to the nation aired at 8:00 A.M. today from Davao City, President Duterte expressed frustration for the Department of Health’s failure to deliver the assistance as provided for in Republic Act No. 11469 known as Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

He said he is ashamed it happened when people lost their kin and his staff have been remiss in their duties as they failed to show sense of urgency. The health executive said he feels bad about what happened.

Secretary Duque, a former Health secretary during President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s time, said he has already ordered his staff not to go home until they have already resolved the problem.

President Duterte earlier gave the Department of Health until Tuesday, June 9, to deliver the P100,000 check to health workers who got afflicted by the virus and the P1 million to the nearest of kin of medical workers who succumbed to COVID-19.

President Duterte instructed Secretary Duque to organize a new team to handle the distribution of the awaited benefits.

During the same briefing, Secretary Duque was heard saying they encountered problems because of some fatalities who had different beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, at the Philippine Senate, Senator Panfilo Morena Lacson called to Secretary Duque to “just go.”

“Now, he even blames his inadequacies and neglect on those who have not received the compensation allowances by claiming that some of them have two wives,” The INQUIRER.net quoted the lawmaker.

“Goodness gracious! Mr. Secretary, they are no longer around to defend or explain themselves. Just go. What gives? Many of us are starting to wonder what ‘amulet’ Secretary Duque has to deserve such a special treatment,” he further said. (Melo M. Acuña)

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III (extreme right) tells President Rodrigo Duterte (extreme left) says his staff failed to deliver the financial assistance to medical front liners because of failure to act with urgency. (Screen grab from PCOO)

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