Duque fails to mute mic: ‘Nagulo na utak ko’; Gordon tells him to see psychiatrist
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III was not able to mute his mic during a Senate hearing on Wednesday, allowing legislators to hear him express confusion amid a lengthy discussion on the Department of Health’s (DOH) pandemic funds utilization.
“Nagulo na ‘yung utak ko, hindi ko na alam kung…” Duque was heard saying to someone from his office. The health chief and other agency officials were participating in the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the P67.3 billion “deficiency” in the DOH’s 2020 pandemic budget.
Upon hearing Duque, Senator Richard Gordon was quick to advise the secretary to seek help from a psychiatrist, saying he understands the stress that comes with working in government.
“Marami kayong psychiatrist sa DOH. Pagamot ka muna sa psychiatrist niyo sa DOH. Meron kamin ditong mga psychosocial support dito [sa Senate],” said Gordon, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon panel.
“I know it’s very stressful to work in the government so please make sure that you get it done,” he added.
Gordon then reminded Duque that accountability is “significant of the budget cycle.”
“I consider you as a friend but my loyalty is to the country first before my loyalty to the government,” the senator said.
The DOH earlier said it was already addressing the deficiencies marked by a Commission on Audit report.
It also maintained that it has exerted efforts to effectively implement provisions of the two Bayanihan laws, “more particularly those health responses in this time of a state of calamity or national emergency amidst varying challenges.”
Reacting to COA’s findings, Duque assured all transactions of the DOH are accounted for and documented.
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