Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles (File photo)
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte listens to the pleas and concerns of the healthcare workers (HCWs) as the country’s medical front-liners continue to fight coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Wednesday.
“In fact, the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) will discuss this urgent matter to give concrete solutions to problems facing our HCWs,” Nograles, also IATF co-chair, said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.
He assured that the IATF-EID will formulate policies to be implemented by the National Task Force Against Covid-19 led by Chief Implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
Nograles also said the Department of Health is recruiting more 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.
He said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is focusing on hiring contact 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 PhilHealth issues, the former Davao lawmaker advised the media to wait for Duterte’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,” he said. “We also would not like to preempt the Chief Executive on decisions regarding DOH Secretary (Francisco) 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 expressed confidence that the number of Filipinos tested for Covid-19 in various parts of the country will steadily increase.
To date, the government tested over 1.5 million people and hitting its target of 30,000 tests per day.
He strongly encouraged the public under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) areas like Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal to abide by the prescribed health protocols.
“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,” Nograles said. (PR)