President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants speedy deliveries of medicine and medical equipment particularly in far-flung areas as the country grapples to contain coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In an address to the nation Monday night, President Duterte said he wants Secretary Carlito Galvez of the National Task Force COVID-19 to coordinate efforts in delivering much-needed medical equipment and medicine.
Secretary Galvez, the chief implementer of the National Action Plan (NAP) against COVID-19, will take charge to reduce the burden to local government units (LGUs), which the President said, are not capable in handing such work.
“And for one, gusto kong madalian. So i-deliver ninyo ito if it’s intended for the provinces outside of Metro Manila. Iyong malayo, it’s being ferried by plane; ‘yung malapit lang, of course by land pero gusto ko na dumating sa madaling panahon,” the President said.
“And to this end, I have requested na ‘yung para sa mga malalayo na lugar i-deliver na lang ng Air Force doon sa TOG at kunin sa TOG ‘yung mga beneficiaries or recipient if they are near. But if it is intended for a place that’s too far away and not easily passable, then we can use the military helicopters.”
The President also instructed the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to hire more personnel for 24-hour operation noting the government is not operating under normal conditions.
“We are operating in a crisis. Kaya sabi ko for the FDA and ‘yung kay Boy, Secretary sa DOST, mag-doble sila ng tao. And the FDA pati ‘yung mga laboratories ng DOST, Boy, they must — your offices must run 24 hours,” he said.
“So magdagdag kayo ng maraming medtech o ‘yung mga naka-graduate na ng doktor naghihintay lang ng results or anybody of — nandiyan sa health services.”
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has approved the request of the Department of Health (DOH) to hire more than 15,000 health professionals to augment the existing workforce, according to the President’s report to Congress. PND