Filipino health workers on Monday, July 26, gave President Rodrigo Duterte’s pandemic response a “failing” mark.
In a statement, the Alliance Health Workers (AHW) lamented Duterte’s “gross neglect” in ensuring the safety, protection, and welfare of the public against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“The increasing number of COVID-19 cases in our country is a reflection of the incompetence and inefficiency of the Duterte government. Thus, we are giving him a score of ‘F’ or ‘FAIL’,” AHW National President Robert Mendoza said.
“It has been more than a year of pandemic and yet he has no clear, concrete, and comprehensive plan on how to end this crisis. His COVID-19 response is nothing but a failure,” Mendoza reiterated.
He added that during Duterte’s term, health workers’ situation “further placed to more misery,” citing low wages, withheld benefits, and threatened safety and protection of medical frontliners against COVID-19.
The group also hit the government’s failure to implement prompt preventive measures against COVID-19 such as the strict imposition of travel ban.
“The threat of a more contagious COVID-19 Delta variant is already here in our country. Now more than ever, the health workers and people’s health and safety should be a priority of this government and the COVID-19 benefits of health workers should be provided continuously as long as there is pandemic and while the country is in a state of emergency,” AHW Secretary General Benjamin Santos said.
Santos called on the government to address the longstanding demands of health workers and ensure the public’s safety and well-being.
During his sixth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, Duterte thanked health workers “who risked their own safety to keep our essential health services and our food supply chain running, economic activity, and ensure peace and order in our communities.”