Duque passes blame to staff for delay in cash benefits for COVID-19 frontliners

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“Nakakahiya talaga, sir eh. Namatayan na nga tapos nagpaka wardy-wardy ‘yung mga tao ko na parang walang sense of urgency. Iyon ang talagang ang sama-sama po ng loob ko, Mr. President,” Duque said, addressing the serious delay in giving out compensation for frontliners affected by COVID-19.

[It’s really embarrassing, sir. The (families) are bereaved yet my staff is wardy-wardy, with no sense of urgency. It’s what makes me feel bad.]

The health chief, who is supposed to be at the top of the chain of command in the health sector, assures the President that he will comply with the June 9 deadline.

Duque took to social media to explain his words as he received backlash for not taking responsibility for the delay and passing the blame to his staff.

“While I expressed disappointment towards some members of my team, I acknowledge that this is still my responsibility as SOH (Secretary of Health),” he wrote.

“I will make sure that we comply with the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, with proper documentation and identification of HCWs (healthcare workers),” he added.

Under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, public and private health workers who contract severe COVID-19 infection while in the line of duty will receive a compensation of P100,000 and those who die “while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic” will be compensated with P1 million.

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