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Duque no longer enjoys trust of DOH bureaucracy, says Drilon

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Senate Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon revealed that embattled Health Sec. Francisco Duque III no longer enjoys the trust of his own agency, the Department of Health (DOH) amid controversies surrounding his handling of the government’s response against the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, Drilon said Duque being at the forefront of the campaign, “remains a major stumbling block in the fight against COVID-19.”

According to Drilon, the credibility of the government’s response to the pandemic “has greatly been affected by the controversies” Duque who according to the Senate official “no longer enjoys the trust of the people, not even the DOH bureaucracy.”

Drilon said he agreed with observations of experts that the economic damage of COVID-19 crisis “could have been avoided” or minimized if the government did not implement aggressive lockdowns and harsh quarantine measures.

“COVID-19 pandemic is principally a health issue, not simply a question of law and order. The three Ts in the fight against covid 19 – testing, tracking and treatment – should be strengthened,” Drilon stressed.

“Where are we in terms of the three Ts? No one has heard of a coordinated overall plan,” he added.

Drilong stressed that he is wondering why neighboring countries such as Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea succeeding in the fight against the COVID pandemic while the Philippines’ infection rate continues to surge.

According to Drilon, the government “should avoid the shotgun approach” to the pandemic, saying “it did ittle to contain the virus.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently cited the Philippine as the fastest in terms of infection rate in Western Pacific despite imposing the longest lockdown among countries affected by the pandemic, he noted.

“What we see today is a shotgun approach to the pandemic, not an overall plan,” Drilon said.

Drilon said the government’s shotgun approach “did nothing to contain the virus but only created fear among Filipinos.”

He added that the lockdown restrictions imposed by the government only “put the once strong and resilient Philippine economy to complete standstill.”

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