Duque Shifts Blame, Says Private Hospitals Accountable For Frontliners’ Benefits
DUQUE SHIFTS BLAME – Health Secretary Francisco Duque stressed that private hospitals are to blame for frontliners’ missing benefits.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the government promised health workers compensation for risking their lives everyday. Sadly, a large majority of these frontliners have long complained of having received little to no benefits whatsoever.
This tied in with the recent issue regarding the Department of Health’s (DOH’s) “discrepancies” in handling the COVID-19 funds. However, Duque, initially went on social media and ranted about the unfair judgement of the public following the Commission on Audit’s (COA’s) audit report.
Finally, during a Senate blue ribbon committee hearing, Duque explained why frontliners have yet to receive their benefits. According to an article from Inquirer, the Health Secretary said:
“Yung mga ospital ng private entities na mga ito, sila ang actually may accountability dahil sila po ang nakakakila doon sa kanilang mga healthcare workers“
Furthermore, Duque emphasized that private hospitals have their own process as to who would should receive the hazard pay benefits. Additionally, based on the DOH’s presentation to the Senate, over P7.1 billion was allocated for the benefits from September 15, 2020 until June 30 of 2021 through the Bayanihan To Recover as One Act.
Meanwhile, DOH Assistant Secretary Maylene Beltran highlighted how the DOH did its best to distribute the funds to the health care workers. But, several health worker groups told the Senate a large portion of their members haven’t received the incentives yet.
Along with this, Senators such as Risa Hontiveros was relentless in her probing of the DOH funds. As per the article, she said:
“Hindi sila nakakatanggap. So something’s got to give, ano ba talaga ang totoo? DOH says it released this certain millions of funds to hospitals but on the other end, sinasabi ng mga nurse, hindi nila natatanggap. There’s a problem“
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