Thu. Aug 5th, 2021

MANILA – Aside from netizens, the spectrum calling for Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque’s immediate resignation is mounting and widening.

Mainstream media columnists are now also on “attack mode” pouncing on Duque’s inefficiency and indecisions and are urging President Rodrigo Duterte to immediately replace Duque with someone Filipinos can depend on amid the COVID-19 crisis.

One columnist claimed that “since the start, Duque has been highly criticized for his handling of the COVID-19 situation. He had been accused of withholding information and holding the release of PPE (personal protective equipment).”

Inefficiency by the DOH to immediately deploy and distribute PPEs to health workers is being blamed by some quarters as the main cause why many medical practitioners died amid the fight against the killer virus.

The Philippine Medical Association’s latest count is now pegged at 17 of medical doctors who died on the frontline.  

The same source also said that “he (Duque) has also been accused of sitting on the accreditation of rapid test kits, even as he remains silent on Senator Manny Pacquaio’s use of such.”

“Such criticisms are not helping a bit in the fight against this deadly virus. Duque’s irresponsibility is taking its toll on the Duterte administration,” the columnist wrote on his column at Manila Standard.

“I maintain that we should not change horses in the middle of the stream. Still, it would not hurt to dump a few deadweights along the way,” he said as he subtly urged the President to replace Duque.

Names of potential candidates to that effect, for the top DOH post include Cong. Tony Leachon of Mindoro and former Masbate Representative Scott Davies Lanete.

Netizens aver the said lawmakers possess far better administrative acumen compared to Duque.

A syndicated columnist from Mindanao who writes for the Philippine News Agency and several print media publications also came out with a similar piece where he cited in detail Duque’s shortcomings at a time when he is supposed to display primal leadership quality amid the COVID-19 fight.

Although the DOH already approved a day before the use of rapid coronavirus tests kits, several tabloid and broadsheet columnists also hit Duque just the same saying approval of which should have been done by the health chief as in “yesterday” or first week of March when news of the disease first saw print on pages.  (ia/

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