By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Sunday reiterated this is not the time for the government to change the leadership of the Department of Health (DOH), especially since the country is in the middle of battling the novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19.
Go, who chairs the Senate committee on health and demography, said he stands by Secretary Francisco Duque III’s leadership and acknowledged his public apology over his shortcomings in addressing the coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis in the country.
“Mahirap magpalit ng isang kapitan sa gitna ng digmaan o gyerang ito (It’s difficult to change the captain in the middle of a war),” Go said in an interview over GMANews TV.
“Marami pong pagkukulang si Secretary (Francisco) Duque at inamin naman po niya. Humingi siya ng sorry at (Secretary Duque made a lot of mistakes which he admitted. He asked for forgiveness and I believe), DOH can’t do it alone,” Go further said.
Nevertheless, the senator said the Senate resolution that was signed and supported by a majority of the senators and called for Duque’s resignation should serve as an “eye opener” for the DOH.
“May pagkukulang po ang DOH at inamin po nila yun, pero hindi po ito panahon na dapat magpalitan tayo ng ika nga kapitan (DOH made mistakes and they also admit it, but this is not the time for us to switch captains),” the lawmaker stressed.
“Nevertheless, this should be an eye opener po for DOH to better shape up. Pero talagang kulang at saka lahat, suportahan na lang natin ang ating frontliners sa ngayon (But its really not enough, so let’s just support our frontliners now) to boost their morale,” Go reiterated.
Go explained that at least 18 officials in the DOH are facing cases, that is why most of them are afraid to move or are just being careful.
“So tulungan na lang po natin sila. May panahon po para mag imbestiga bilang committee chair po ng health, binabantayan natin lahat ng pagkakamali nila tulad ng hindi pagtanggap ng mga ospital na maysakit, (So let’s just help them. There is a time to investigate as chair of the committee on health, we are also looking out on their mistakes, like the refusal of some of the hospitals to take in suspected COVID-19 patients),” he pointed out.
He said it is best to accept and respect President Duterte’s decision to let Duque stay while the country is under an expanded enhanced community quarantine.
“May day of reckoning tayo. Imbestigahan natin pagdating ng panahon pero ngayon mahirap pong magpalit (We will have a day of reckoning. We will investigate these things soon, but for now, it is truly difficult to change the DOH chief),” he stressed.
Duque earlier apologized for his shortcomings in addressing the COVID-19 crisis saying this health crisis is fairly new to him and he had no past experience in dealing with such kind of pandemic.#