Sen. Binay backs call for gov't to respect, provide better treatment for health workers

Senator Nancy Binay on Tuesday supported calls for the Duterte government to treat the country’s healthcare workers with respect and provide them better treatment, saying they do not deserve to be castigated.

Senator Nancy Binay
(Senate of the Philippines / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Binay made the appeal in light of President Duterte’s statements against the medical community following their call for the government to revert Metro Manila and some provinces deemed as COVID-19 hotspots back to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to stop the spread of the disease and avoid overwhelming hospital workers further.

Duterte agreed to place Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan under the modified ECQ (MECQ) but criticized healthcare workers for "calling for a revolution."

“Unang-una (First), I welcome the move. Kahit hindi (even if it's not) ECQ, I think win-win compromise itong MECQ. For that, I welcome this move by the President,” Binay said in an interview over ANC’s Matters of Fact.

“Pero pagdating nga doon sa pag-castigate niya sa health workers natin, sana lang wag natin tignan na kaaway sila (But on that part where he castigated our health workers, I just hope we don’t see them as enemies). And I think doon din papasok si  (that is where Health) Secretary (Francisco) Duque (should come in) because he has the ear of the president,” Binay said.

“If he was able to explain it properly, I think the President wouldn't get that impression that our health workers are staging a revolution,” she added.

Binay said that while she is not privy to how things are done inside the President’s Cabinet, she believes the country’s frontline workers do not deserve a public scolding.

“But you know at the end of the day for me, our health workers do not deserve that kind of lashing,” she said.

“Moving forward, we have to move on. We have two weeks. We have a two-week window where we can correct things and hopefully, the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) will constantly be in touch with our health workers, with our doctors, so their dialogues will continue on how we can find the solution to the problem,” she said.

Binay said she shares Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson’s frustration with Duque whom she said should “do some soul-searching.”

Binay was among the senators who called for Duque to step down from his DOH post despite President Duterte’s repeated refusal to let go of him.

“When we had that first hearing in the Senate with regards to COVID-19, it was already a red flag doon sa capability ni Sec. Duque,” she said.

“Nakaka-frustrate. But at the end of the day, it is the call of the President whether to let go of Sec. Duque. But maybe it is high time for the secretary to do some soul searching if he really can't do the job. Baka kailangan na sa kanya na manggaling (I think it must come from him personally),” she said.