Doctors group urges Duterte to reverse order barring Cabinet members from attending Senate hearing

Maris Federez   •   October 11, 2021   •   338

 

MANILA, Philippines — A group of doctors appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to reverse his order barring  Cabinet members from attending the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s hearing on the alleged anomalous procurement of COVID-19 supplies.

The group wants the Senate hearing to continue the hearing, questioning why the Department of Health (DOH) transferred the said procurement to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

This, despite the earlier clarification made by the Commission on Audit that there was no overpricing in the procurement of COVID-19 supplies and that the said government transaction went through careful inspection.

“Kung bakit ipinasa ng Department of Health ang pagbili nung mga protective equipment na ito sa Department of Budget (and Management), sa DBM. ‘Yun pa lang hindi ma-explain, kase ang ipinapasa lang po talaga sa DBM ay yung mga administrative. ‘Yung mga may kinalaman sa administrative part which means yung mga office supplies, ang mga protective equipment, definitely this is a health. This should actually belong to the Department of Health,” said the group’s president, Dr. Maricar Limpin.

The group also defended the manner of questioning of some senators on the resource persons, saying that there was no bullying that was taking place during the hearing.

“Sa paningin ko yun ay part ng pagku-cross examine, at different personalities have different way of trying to get information. Whatever form na ginagawa nila in order to extract the truth, kase hindi siya maliit na pera. Forty-two billion. At napunta po iyong deal na iyan, yung kontrata, sa isang maliit na kumpanya,” Dr. Anthony Leachon, former president of PCP, said.

The group appeals to the Senate to finish the hearing on the said issue and forward the result of their investigation to the Department of Justice or the Office of the Ombudsman for appropriate action.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the administration will no longer allow Cabinet members and other officials in the Executive Department to attend any succeeding Senate hearings.

“In fact, they appeared before 12 hearings of the Senate and the House and he only said itigil na iyan, after 12. Kasi wala namang bago pong tinatanong at walang bagong sagot,” Roque said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Janice Ingente)

PH gov’t eyeing to administer 7 million COVID-19 jabs in second vaccination drive

Robie de Guzman   •   December 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is aiming to administer seven million COVID-19 vaccine jabs for the second round of nationwide vaccination drive, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Tuesday.

The second mass immunization campaign is scheduled from December 15 to 17.

“Ang tina-target natin dito, mga 7 million para second dose, para maabot yung ating pinupuntiryang 54 million by the end of the year na bigyan ng kumpletong bakuna,” Duque said in a televised public briefing.

This target is lower than the first vaccination drive conducted last November 29 to December 1 and later extended until December 3.

The government had hoped to inoculate 9 million people during the first three-day immunization campaign. More than 10 million were vaccinated in the extended drive.

The vaccination drive was launched in a bid to scale up the country’s vaccination rate to achieve population protection against COVID-19.

So far, more than 38 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated out of the 91.7 million doses administered since the immunization was rolled out in March.

The number of individuals who have received their first dose rose to 56.7 million.

The government is aiming to fully vaccinate at least 54 million by the end of the year.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier expressed hope that the second vaccination drive will also be successful.

“We will have a second round of Bayanihan Bakunahan from December 15 to 17. I hope that we would have the same success. But this time lesser because parang naubos na natin ang Pilipino sa ‘yung what counts sa bakuna kaya medyo there’s a slowdown of the COVID-19,” he said.

He also expressed optimism that the Philippines will be able to overcome the pandemic amid increasing vaccination rate in the country.

Duterte offers DOH Secy post to OCTA fellow

Robie de Guzman   •   December 7, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has offered OCTA Research fellow Nicanor Austriaco the top post in the Department of Health (DOH) to replace Secretary Francisco Duque III.

During his weekly Talk to the People that aired late Monday, Duterte asked Austriaco if he is open to being designated as the new health chief.

“I would be happy to appoint you as the Secretary of Health. If that is okay with you,” he said after Austriaco finished his presentation on the Omicron COVID-19 variant during the public briefing.

Austriaco declined the offer.

“No po. Secretary Duque is doing a fine job po and he’s a Thomasian po,” he said.

Duterte pressed on with his offer, saying Duque has been asking to be replaced.

“He has shown — he vents a desire really to rest, you know, after all this ruckus against him,” the president said. “Sabi ko I’ve been forcing him to stay but he would be happy to give way to you, I’m sure.”

“Yes, Mr. President, to another Thomasian,” Duque chimed in.

Austriaco, a priest and a molecular biologist, is also part of the team developing the Philippines’ first vaccine against COVID-19.

 

Parties ngayong holiday season, gawin online o sa open areas – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   December 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Hinimok ng Department of Health (DOH) ang publiko na gawing ligtas ang pagdiriwang ng holiday season sa pamamagitan ng pagsasagawa ng party o pagtitipon online o kaya ay sa labas ng bahay.

Ayon sa DOH, mas mataas ang tiyansa ng hawaan ng virus kung magtitipon ang mga tao sa lugar na kulob at walang maayos na bentilasyon.

Kung may bisitang kamag-anak o mga kaibigan, mas makakabuting outdoor activities ang gawin.

Kung hindi naman kaya ang outdoor celebration ay maaari pa rin namang sa loob ng bahay basta’t nakabukas ang bintana, pintuan at bentilador upang maging maayos ang air flow o daloy ng hangin.

Payo rin ni Dr. Dominic Maddumba, ang OIC-Division chief ng DOH Campaign Strategy Management Division Health Promotion Bureau, dapat ring maglagay ng hand sanitizing station sa lugar kung saan gagawiun ang salu-salo.

“Ngayon pong kapaskuhan ay sulitin an po natin iyong malamig na simoy ng hangin at papasukin natin upang maproteksyonan din tayo at maiwasan ang pagkahawa sa COVID-19,” ani Maddumba.

“Kung naka-aircon, mas mainam na may hepa filters para sa dagdag na proteksyon para sa inyong kasama, kaibigan at kapamilya,” dagdag pa niya.

Paalalahan rin ang lahat ng dadalo na isuot ng maayos ang kanilang face mask at panatilihin ang pagkakaroon ng physical distancing.

Upang makaiwas naman sa posibilidad na mahawa ng COVID-19, sinabi ng DOH na mas mainam pa ring online na lang gawin ang selebrasyon habang may pandemya para na rin sa kaligtasan ng pamilya. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

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