Gordon to Duque: “Pagamot ka muna sa psychiatrist niyo sa DOH“
Senator Richard Gordon told Health Secretary Francisco Duque III that he should seek “psychiatric help” if he’s too overwhelmed with his job.
Seemingly unaware that his microphone had not been muted in a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III unwittingly said that he could no longer follow the discussions on funds for health workers’ benefits.
“Ano ba yun? Nagulo na ‘yung utak ko. Hindi ko na alam,” Duque was heard saying.
Health Sec. Duque pinayuhan ni Sen. Gordon na magpatingin sa psychiatrist matapos madinig na sinabi ng kalihim na “nagulo na ang utak ko.” Sinabi iyon ni Duque sa kausap sa DOH habang tinatanong ni Gordon si DBM OIC Tina Canda sa pagdinig ng Blue Ribbon Committee. @dzbb pic.twitter.com/T00PBAe6hs— Nimfa R. Ravelo (@nimfaravelo) August 18, 2021
Gordon, who was the chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, then told Duque that he should consult psychiatrists in the Department of Health. According to Gordon, he knew it’s very stressful to work in the government.
“Marami kayong psychiatrist sa DOH. Pagamot ka muna sa inyo sa DOH. Meron kami ditong mga psychosocial support dito. I know it’s very stressful to work in the government so please make sure that you get it done,” Gordon said.
The health secretary later realized that the topic was capital outlay. Senators and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said that it should have been realigned to the special risk allowances (SRA) for health workers.
Gordon made the comment during the Senate’s seven-hour hearing on the Department of Health’s use of the PHP 67-billion pandemic response funds last Wednesday.
GMA News Online reported that Duque had been pressed by Gordon to explain the PHP 1.8 billion meal, accommodation, and transportation (MAT) allowance for the healthcare workers.
Duque didn’t elaborate on the details of the PHP 1.8 billion MAT allowances but he assured the lawmakers that the Department of Health would “look into it”.
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As health officials lamented lack of funds for the health workers’ benefits, DBM Undersecretary Tina Rose Canda questioned the Department of Health’s unutilized funds — including PHP 1.6 billion from the agency’s 2020 budget.
According to Gordon, it’s the significant phase of the budget cycle because it ensured that the government funds have been efficiently and effectively utilized in order to achieve the socioeconomic goals.
CNN Philippines reported that the Senate will conduct another hearing on August 25 and the House of Representatives’ Public Accounts Committee was also set to hold an inquiry on August 20.