Davao mayor irked by requests for special treatment
DAVAO CITY –– Mayor Sara Duterte is fuming over attempts by several individuals seeking special treatment in accessing medical facilities in the region.
Without naming names, she also said that persons from at least three different national government agencies had sent messages through their emissaries telling her they wanted to enter the Davao region to access hospitals here.
“I don’t want to name them. What we want is ‘ways forward,’ but I don’t want to receive requests like that,” said Duterte, chair of the region’s COVID-19 Task Force, who had earlier placed the entire Davao region on lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
The mayor said one emissary sent a text message saying that the official who was asking a favor was “too embarrassed to ask” and would not “pressure” her if Duterte would not agree.
“I would like to respectfully request the national government agencies to stop asking me to defy rules that have been put in place to help you fight COVID-19 and protect the people of this region,” Duterte said.
She said the local government created orders and guidelines for the protection of the public and that she found it disappointing that “some government offices seem not to care about the effort that the entire city and the region have been doing to help the nation.”
“These offices seem to care more for batches of 2, 4, 7, even 30 individuals against the 4.8 million population of Filipinos in the region,” Duterte said. “This is an unfortunate case of a government working against others in government,” she added.
Duterte reminded these officials not to undermine the authority and efforts of the local government in fighting the spread of the global pandemic.
“I would like to respectfully request national government agencies to stop asking me to defy rules that have been put in place to help you fight COVID-19 and protect the people of this region,” Duterte said.
The mayor hinted that these individuals also wanted to enter the Davao region, which has been enforcing very strict entry restrictions along its borders.
“Everyone is a possible virus carrier and we need all individuals (if possible) to stop moving (for a while) and we simply cannot do this if we are asked to defy rules,” she said.
“Please allow me to do what our doctors and even the World Health Organization recommend for the country,” Duterte said.
She also warned private hospitals to follow the established protocols in handling COVID-19 cases and not provide special treatment to a few individuals.
For the entire Davao Region, only the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City and the Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, both government-run hospitals, are allowed to take in COVID-related cases.
“Do not provide special treatment for a few individuals against the safety of the entire staff and personnel of your hospital,” Duterte said after a private hospital allegedly admitted a PUI, violating her directive to send all COVID-19 related cases only to SPMC and DRMC so that private hospitals would be safe and protected to deal with non-COVID cases.
“We have labored on the protocols with the DOH. If our hospitals do not follow protocols, we should not have any (protocol) at all,” Duterte said.
“There are private hospitals that provide special treatment to PUIs. We set the rules on private hospitals to protect the health infrastructure and to protect the people in those hospitals,” Duterte said.
It is ridiculous, Duterte observed, for a hospital to provide special treatment to one or two individuals and put its entire human resource to possible exposure to the disease.
“I call on everyone — let us not make the efforts of many (people) futile just to accommodate the few,” Duterte said.
Edited by LZB
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.