The medical sector in the Philippines recently said that contrary to the claims of President Rodrigo Duterte, they are not calling for a revolution, but simply, for help as the healthcare community is becoming overwhelmed with the rising number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
In a report by ABS-CBN News, nurses and doctors said that amid the pandemic, they are overworked and underpaid, not to mention, many of them are getting infected with COVID-19.
“It’s not a call for revolution, President Duterte. It’s a call for help,” San Lazaro Hospital nurse Jaymee De Guzman said in a virtual forum organized by the Filipino Nurses United (FNU).
“Baka yung health workers walang nagre-report sa inyo ano ang tunay na kalagayan. Hindi po rebolusyon ang sinisigaw namin. We need your help kasi kami na ang nahahawa,” she added.
On August 3, Duterte challenged the healthcare workers to stage a revolution in his late-night address, saying that if they do, they are giving him a free ticket to stage a counterrevolution.
“Huwag kayo magsigaw-sigaw, ‘revolution.’ Magsabi kayo revolution, then ngayon na. Try it. Patayin natin lahat ng may COVID-19. Is that what you want? We can always end our existence in this manner. I’m not threatening, but I want you to try it. I dare you, do it,” he said.
FNU National President Maristela Abenojar, on the other hand, said during the forum that they only want concrete health interventions and strategy so as not to further overwhelm the frontliners.
“Wala naman sigurong sumigaw sa ating health workers na rebolusyon. Malinaw ang ating posisyon. We just want appropriate and concrete medical and health interventions,” she said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Edelina dela Paz of the Health Alliance for Democracy said that the president should not be sensitive about the criticisms of the public.
“Do not take criticisms as a personal attack to you. You are supposed to lead the country. Tinanggap n’yo ang trabahong ‘yan, matuto kayong makinig sa tao,” she said in the forum.
As of this writing, there are currently 5,008 health workers infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with 394 of them still in hospitals or home quarantine.