Gov’t ready to provide food, shelter for evicted health workers; Duterte jokes about shaming, banning their landlords in hospitals if they fall sick

Published September 1, 2020, 10:36 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

If President Duterte had his way, landlords who evict health workers should be deprived of hospital assistance as a “tit-for-tat” move.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on August 31, 2020.

The President, however, quickly clarified that he was merely joking when he threatened to shame landlords in public and seek their ban in hospitals if they fall sick.

Duterte has offered to rent hotels to temporarily house the health workers who have nowhere else to live during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Isabi mo lang ang pangalan ‘yung may-ari ng building, may-ari ng boarding house, may-ari ng ano, at I will call their attention publicly so that kung sila ang magkasakit, huwag na silang tanggapin sa ospital rin. Parang ganun. Mabuti siguro, tit-for-tat (Just tell us the name, the owner of the building, owner of boarding house and I will call their attention publicly so that if they get sick, they will not be accepted in hospitals. Maybe that’s good. It’s tit-for-tat),” he said during his televised address Monday night.

“Well, anyway, I’m joking. But you know, it’s something that is not really a positive move, you know, that we are suffering and we are experiencing a lack of everything. We are trying to make up for the deficiencies,” he said.

The President said the government is prepared to provide food and shelter for health workers evicted from their rented homes.

He said the government can always rent places like vacant hotels as temporary homes for these frontliners.

“We will provide you with the necessary billeting and pati pagkain na, and we will choose a place nearest to where you are working,” he said.

He said these medical workers can immediately contact the office of Presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., who is also the chief implementer of the government’s plan against the pandemic, for assistance.

“We will treat you decently. The long and short of it is parang tao ka. And since you are there, I said obligasyon ng gobyerno na tumulong (the government is obligated to help),” he said.