Duterte to ‘sacrifice’ gov’t officials in COVID-19 compensation mess
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte warned that he will fire officials behind the delay in the release of financial assistance to the family of healthcare workers who were stricken and succumbed to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We have to move fast and I will sacrifice you if you are really a laggard,” Duterte said in a taped public address aired Friday morning.
“Ang p*****… Itong Pilipino hindi na natuto. Kakasabi ko lang — when I give an order for something to be done hindi ako nagbibilang ng araw — ah buwan — nagbibilang lang ako ng araw,” he added.
(They really never learned. I just said when I give an order for something to be done I don’t count months, I only count days.)
Under Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, health workers who become severely ill in the line of duty will receive financial assistance of P100,000 while the family of those who died of COVID-19 in the line of duty will get P1 million.
It was bared. however, during a recent Senate hearing that the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on the provision of benefits to medical workers have yet to be finalized, leaving the families of 32 healthcare workers who have so far died of the respiratory disease uncompensated.
Within days after criticisms from lawmakers, the Department of Health came up with a Joint Administrative Order with the Department of Budget and Management, and the Department of Labor and Employment to implement the provision on healthcare workers; benefits.
“We’re wasting money paying for these idiots. Kalalaki pa naman ng allowances, mga sweldo niyan,” Duterte said.
(We’re wasting money paying for these idiots. And they enjoy fat paychecks and allowances.)
The President did not specify who among the DOH officials will be chastised, but he appears to have spared Health Secretary Francisco Duque III from the blame, saying that the health chief cannot do his own errands.
“I said just like me you cannot run your own errands… That’s why it’s called ‘you cannot run your own errands’. Somebody has to do it for you because you cannot really do it beyond human comprehension,” he said.
Duterte then ordered Duque to form a new team that will focus on the swift release of the assistance.
The President earlier gave concerned government agencies until Tuesday, June 9 to release the compensation to health workers.
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