Medical front-liners who have been evicted by their landlords from their homes will be provided with food and shelter by the government, President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday.
In a taped public address, Duterte said it hurts him to see how health care workers on the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic are being mistreated due to the “unfounded fear” that they are carriers of the disease.
“They are summarily dismissed from the residence whether it is leased, rented. Iyan ang nakaka-ano ng loob. Kaya itong mga ‘to, we must have a mechanism. Sasaluhin natin ito dito (It pains me. That’s why we must have a mechanism. Let’s help them),” he said.
Duterte said health care workers evicted from their homes may seek help from the office of Chief Implementer of the country’s National Policy Against Covid-19, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
“If this happens, you can call directly the office of Secretary Galvez and we will provide you with the necessary billeting and pati pagkain (even food), and we will choose a place nearest to where you are working,” he said.
Duterte said the government could easily provide health care workers with a room in a hotel or motel to stay in the meantime.
“It behooves this government to do something about it. We will find a house, a hotel, a motel,” he said.
The President said he would even call the attention of landlords who have evicted health care workers from their homes, saying in jest that they would not be treated if they needed medical attention.
“Isabi mo lang ang pangalan ‘yung may-ari ng building, may-ari ng boarding house at (Just tell me their name, the owner of the building, boarding house and) I will call their attention publicly so that kung sila ang magkasakit, huwag na silang tanggapin sa ospital rin (so that when they get sick, they won’t be admitted to hospitals),” he said.
Health care workers, Duterte said, deserve to be treated decently.
“We will treat you decently. The long and short of it is parang tao ka (you’re a person). And since you are there, I said obligasyon ng gobyerno na tumulong (it’s the obligation of the government to help),” he said.
According to Duterte, the government is “trying to make up for the deficiencies.”
“The Philippines has (been) able to at least meet halfway of what was the expectations of the people. Iyan sana. Maawa naman ako sa mga tao na tumutulong tapos pinapaalis. Hindi ho maganda pakinggan (I pity those who help [battle the health crisis] but are sent away. It doesn’t sound good),” he said.
Earlier, Duterte called on the police force to ensure the safety of health care workers against attacks and discrimination. (PNA)