Duterte accuses US of wooing Filipino health workers during COVID-19 crisis
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night accused the United States government of wooing Filipino nurses into working in its country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his late-night public address, Duterte said the US was offering Filipino health workers heftier pay and faster visa processing to bolster its manpower as it grappled with the infectious respiratory illness.
“Ang problema itong Amerikano, you could have relied on your own human resource. Ibig sabihin dapat kayo umasa sana sa sariling tao ninyo,” Duterte said. “Eh ngayon kinukuha, kinakaltasan mo ang Pilipinas. Pagdating ng panahon magkulang, ah sorry na lang tayo.”
[The problem of Americans, you could have relied on your own human resources. That means, you should rely on your own people. And now you’re taking away [people] from the Philippines. When the times come that we have a shortage, then it’s just sorry for us.]
Duterte noted, however, that he could not blame Filipino nurses for wanting to work in the US due to the promise of a heftier pay.
“Hindi ko sinisisi, hindi ako galit… kung kayong mga nurse na Pilipino, kung gusto niyo magsilbi sa ibang bayan, okay lang sa akin,” he said.
[I don’t blame them. I’m not angry… if you Filipino nurse want to serve in another country, it’s okay with me.]
To date, the US has the most COVID-19 cases in nearly 200 countries and territories worldwide with more than 550,000 confirmed infections.
Meanwhile, the Philippines has 4,932 COVID-19 cases, of whom, 315 have died while 242 were able to recover.
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