Duterte ‘forever thankful’ to health workers in frontline of battle vs COVID-19

Published March 17, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government is looking for ways to compensate the country’s hardworking health workers battling the new coronavirus on the frontline.

President Rodrigo Duterte (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Duterte

President Duterte said the government was “forever” thankful to the health professionals and other medical workers, and intends to show such gratitude in “a more tangible way.”

Duterte made the remarks after placing Luzon under enhanced community quarantine to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus that has killed 12 people in the country.

“Of course, the formalities of our doctors, health professionals and health workers, to whom we will forever be thankful. In due time, we shall express to them our gratitude in a more tangible way, when this crisis is over,” Duterte said during his public address Monday night.

“In the meantime, I have directed the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) and DOH (Department of Health) to find a way to best compensate our health workers,” he added.

Duterte cited that Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has donated P2 billion to boost government efforts to combat the coronavirus disease.

“We had a meeting and I saw Andrea Domingo sa PAGCOR. Sinabi ko sa kanya kung may pera siya, at sinabi ko na ibuhos mo ang pera nito kasi kailangan natin (I asked her if she has money and give it to those in need) so PAGCOR alone donated two billion for — naibigay sa Task Force for the fight against COVID,” he said.

As coronavirus cases multiplied in the county, healthcare workers have rendered tireless work to contain the spread of the deadly virus, and provide care to patients with suspected symptoms and those already infected. The medical workers have been widely described as heroes for their brave and selfless public service.

The health workers are considered among those at most risk due to their exposure to coronavirus cases. Recently, several Philippine Heart Center doctors and staff have reportedly been placed on quarantine after being exposed to a patient who died due to the coronavirus.

The country’s confirmed cases of coronavirus climbed to 142 after the health department confirmed two new cases Monday.

President Duterte has recently ordered enhanced community quarantine in Luzon that will compel millions of Filipinos to stay at home in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

During the quarantine period, public transportation will be suspended while work in the public and private sector will be based on work from home arrangements. Large gatherings will be prohibited while land, sea and air travel will be restricted.