Duque heard admitting getting lost in Senate discussion on health worker benefits

Seemingly unaware that his mic had not been muted, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III unwittingly said in a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing that he could no longer follow the discussions on funds for health workers’ benefits.

“Nagulo na ‘yung utak ko, hindi ko na alam,” Duque was heard saying.

[My mind’s confused, I don’t know anymore.]

Senate Blue Ribbon chairman Richard Gordon then told Duque to consult psychiatrists in the Department of Health.

“Marami kayong psychiatrist sa DOH. Pagamot ka muna sa inyo sa DOH. Meron kami ditong mga psychosocial support dito,” Gordon said.

[There are many psychiatrists in the DOH. Get treated first. We have psychosocial support here.]

“I know it’s very stressful to work in the government so please make sure that you get it done,” he added.

Duque had been pressed by Gordon to explain the P1.8 billion meal, accommodation and transportation (MAT) allowance for the healthcare workers.

The secretary did not elaborate on the details of the P1.8 billion MAT allowances but he assured the lawmakers that the DOH would “look into it.”

“I consider you as a friend but my loyalty is to the country first before my loyalty to the government,” Gordon said.

“It is called accountability, it’s a significant phase of the budget cycle because it ensures that the got funds have been [spent],” he added. — BM/NB, GMA News

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