Senators uncertain how to face Garin
MANILA, Philippines–Are the senators ready to take the risk of exposing themselves to acting Health Secretary Janette Garin when the Senate tackles on the floor next week the proposed budget of the Department of Health (DOH)?
Garin and Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. drew flak from various sectors, including health experts and some senators, when they visited the Filipino peacekeepers from Ebola-stricken Liberia on Caballo Island last Sunday without protective gear.
The proposed budget of the DOH for 2015 is up for plenary debates on November 24, 2014.
“You are going to make sure that she’s here Mr. President after coming from Caballo?” Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III asked Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, chairman of the Senate committee on finance, on the floor on Wednesday.
“She can always wear protective gear Mr. President,” Escudero said in jest.
“What if the other members of the Senate question the wearing of the protective gear? We will not be able to see the facial expression of the Secretary,” Sotto said.
At this point, Escudero said they would accommodate whatever Sotto’s request insofar as the attire of the acting Secretary is concerned.
“Thank you. We were told that the reason they went there, and that goes also for the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, the reason is that they want to allay the fears of the troops. What about our fears?” Sotto asked.
Escudero then referred the matter to Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the Senate committee on health, when the latter defends the budget of the DOH.
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.