“The President listens to the pleas of our health care workers (HCWs). He will address the concerns of our medical frontliners. In fact, the IATF will discuss this urgent matter to give concrete solutions to problems facing our HCWs.”
Cabinet Secretary and Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases co-chair Karlo Nograles made the statement at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum on Wednesday as he assured that the IATF will formulate policies to be implemented by the national task force against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“We need to be united in this fight.”
The Cabinet Secretary likewise mentioned that the Department of Health is recruiting additional nurses and health workers. Around 9,365 positions need to be filled up for immediate deployment, to supplement the current number of 6,510 that are actively working in various health institutions.
Nograles explained, moreover, that the DILG is focusing efforts on hiring contract tracers, supplementing the 73,000 tracers who have already made 200,000 searches of those who have come into contact with COVID-19 patients.
On the matter of the issues relating to PhilHealth, the former Davao congressman advised the media to wait for the President’s statement because “he respects the Senate as a co-equal branch of government and the executive would ideally await the Upper House’s findings and recommendations.
“Let’s not preempt the President, but he may act on PhilHealth even before the Senate investigation terminates.”
“Every life is precious and we all want this pandemic to end.”
“We also would not like to preempt the Chief Executive on decisions regarding DOH Secretary Duque. We at Malacañang enjoy the trust and confidence of President Duterte. Any time that trust disappears or is eroded, it’s his prerogative to ask any cabinet official to step down,” Nograles noted.
Nograles expressed confidence that the number of Filipinos tested for COVID-19 in various parts of the country will steadily increase. At present, 1.536 million tests have already been conducted and the government is hitting its target of 30,000 tests per day.
He strongly encouraged people in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite and Rizal, which are now under a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to follow the prescribed health protocols being enforced.
“Let’s continue supporting the government. We need to be united in this fight. Government is pouring massive resources to combat COVID-19 because every life is precious and we all want this pandemic to end.”