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Duque ‘alarmed’ by reports health care workers being harassed for seeking better terms

Francisco Duque III

HEALTH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III has expressed alarm after being notified of incidents of discrimination, intimidation and violence against health-care workers (HCWs), including cases of red-tagging, for simply seeking better benefits and pay.

Duque, who recognized all the sacrifices of the HCWs as the country celebrated Labor Day, said that the Department of Health (DOH) stands squarely against any form of discrimination, intimidation, and violence against them.

“Now more than ever HCWs play a crucial role in our Covid-19 response,” Duque said, and vowed to hold the perpetrators of these acts “accountable and will collate reports from our HCWs for proper investigation and resolution.”

These acts “will not be tolerated,” he vowed, adding that apart from ensuring the safety of our HCWs, “we continue to strive for better compensation and benefits befitting their service and sacrifices for our nation.”

This Labor Day, he said, they are one with the HCWs who are continuously fulfilling their sworn duty to serve and promote the “right to quality and equitable health” of Filipinos.

“It is not enough that we thank our HCWs for their bravery during this pandemic, we have to protect them too,” Duque emphasized.

The DOH also called on the public and other government agencies to stand up for health care workers and protect them against any form of discrimination, intimidation, and violence.

“Together with our health care workers, let us unite to defeat Covid-19,” he concluded.

Covid cases

On Saturday, the DOH logged 9,226 additional cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 1,046,653.

There were 10,809 recoveries and 120 deaths.

Of the total number of cases, 6.9 percent (72,248) are active, 91.4 percent (957,051) have recovered, and 1.66 percent (17,354) have died.

Moreover, 54 cases previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation.

All laboratories were operational on April 29, 2021 while four others were not able to submit their data to the Covid-19 Document Repository System.

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