The President Is Not Happy About the Delay in Giving Cash Benefits to Frontliners

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of Health to form a new team to handle the distribution of the benefits for forntliners who died or got infected while handling COVID-19 cases and patients.

Duterte said in a June 5 address that he wants DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III to create the distribution team in the next 24 hours.

Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act states that public and private health workers who get infected with COVID-19 infection while in the line of duty should receive P100,000 as compensation, while those who die “while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic” should receive P1 million as compensation to be given to their families.

The president was not too happy about the two-month delay in the distribution of benefits. He deemed it “totally unacceptable” and he swore at the members of the Congress for failing to address the delay.

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"Dalawang buwan itong lecheng ito. Can you just imagine two months?" he said in his address.

The DOH announced only on June 4 that it has finally reviewed and approved the guidelines for the release of cash benefits to affected frontliners.

Duterte reprimanded Congress, saying that they should have noticed it and pointed it out.

"Dapat nakita na rin ninyo, nasilip na rin ninyo bakit wala yung tulong sa namatay at sa nagkasakit," he said.

According to DOH data, there are 32 health workers—consisting of 4 nurses, 26 doctors, and 2 non-medical staff—who died from COVID-19.

Duque blamed his staff at the DOH for the long delay of release of cash benefits. He claimed that had no sense of urgency.

"Nakakahiya talaga, sir eh. Namatayan na nga tapos nagpaka wardy-wardy 'yung mga tao ko na parang walang sense of urgency," Duque said.

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