Philippines Report

Duterte open to dialogue with health frontliners

Duterte open to dialogue with health frontliners

Malacañang said on Tuesday, April 6 that President Duterte is open to holding dialogue with the country’s health care frontliners battling the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the President recognized the hard work and sacrifices of health workers and has actually been in touch with some medical professionals to get updates on their situation.

“Kung ang tanong ay gusto pang makipagdiyalogo, ang Presidente naman po talagang bukas ang kaniyang tanggapan para sa lahat ng Pilipino na mayroong mga hinagpis na nais iparating sa kanya (If the question is about holding dialogue, the President is really open to all Filipinos who  want to relay their complaints to him),” Roque said during a televised press briefing Tuesday, April 6.

“Pero hindi na po kinakailangang hingin iyan dahil ang Presidente naman po talaga patuloy po ang kaniyang pagdidiyalogo sa mga miyembro ng mga medical frontliners (But they don’t have to ask for one because the President continues to hold dialogue with members of medical frontliners),” he said.

Roque mentioned that the President often talked about his conversation with doctors whenever they meet.

“Kinukuwento niya kung sino naman ang nakausap niyang doktor dahil siya mismo po gumagawa ng hakbang para malaman kung ano talaga po ang nangyayari sa ating mga medical frontliners (He talks about the doctor he spoke to because he takes steps to know what is really happening to our medical frontliners),” he said.

Roque also said the government appreciated the contribution of the health frontliners in the fight against the pandemic, citing the benefits offered to them.

He recognized that the nation owed a huge debt of gratitude to the health workers providing care to people infected with the virus.

“Sila po talaga ang ating mga sundalo dito sa giyera laban sa COVID-19 at naintindihan po natin iyong hirap na walang katapusan po iyong dumarating na mga pasyente dahil nga po pumasok itong mga new variants na nakakahawa (They are the soldiers in the war against the COVID-19 and we understand the hardship in dealing with the seemingly endless influx of patients due tot the new and more infectious variants),” he said.

“So nagbibigay-pugay po tayo at binibigay naman po natin ang lahat ng pangangailangan ng ating mga health workers (So we salute then and address the needs of our health workers),” he added.

Under the Bayanihan law, Roque said benefits given to health workers including compensation for those who get sick, personal protective equipment, and free accommodation such as dormitories for frontliners. Health workers, considered as heroes in the coronavirus battle, are also first in the government’s free vaccination drive.

The government meantime will allot over 200 hotel rooms to provide care for health workers infected with the coronavirus, according to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. Galvez bared the dedicated beds for medical frontliners following reports of increasing infections among their ranks.

The country has endured a resurgence of coronavirus infections in recent weeks following the detection of new and more infectious variants. More than 812,000 people have become infected with the coronavirus in the country since the pandemic erupted last year.

The latest surge in coronavirus cases left many hospital beds occupied, forcing some hospitals in Metro Manila to declare full capacity. The hospital situation has prompted the government to build modular hospitals and temporary isolation facilities to accommodate coronavirus patients.

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