P67B funds issue: Group calls for Duque resignation over ‘grievous betrayal of public trust’ | Inquirer News
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P67B funds issue: Group calls for Duque resignation over ‘grievous betrayal of public trust’

/ 02:59 PM August 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III should resign for committing “grievous betrayal of public trust” following the deficiencies on the P67.32-billion fund of the health department, the Confederation for Unity, Recognition, and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) said Thursday.

The group made the call after the Commission on Audit (COA) found deficiencies in how the DOH managed its P67.32-billion fund to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“It is apparent that the funds were mismanaged, the DOH has committed a grievous betrayal of public trust, and Secretary Duque should resign immediately for such capital sin amid a public health crisis,” COURAGE Secretary General Manuel Baclagon said in a statement.

The group likewise questioned the spending of the funds, pointing out the “lack of personal protective equipment and delayed release of their meager hazard compensation” for healthcare workers.

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It also criticized the Duterte administration for allowing Duque to remain in his position despite his “numerous offenses” in responding to the pandemic.

“The consistent inaction of Duterte’s administration with the President and his trusted inept Health Secretary has led to the downtrodden and pandemic-ridden state of the nation,” Baclagon said.

COA’s annual audit report for DOH in 2020 revealed that the deficiencies are caused by non-compliance with pertinent laws and regulations, which led to missed opportunities for the department primarily tasked with managing the pandemic.

These issues, COA said, cast doubt on the regularity of transactions, while keeping much-needed funds at bay and unspent.

Duque, meanwhile, assured that all transactions of the DOH are accounted for and documented, otherwise officials and employees would go to jail. McKenzie Kinsella, trainee

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TAGS: COA, Commission of Audit, Confederation for Unity, Courage, COVID-19, Department of Health, DoH, Doque, Francisco Duque III, Manuel Baclagon, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees
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