/ 17 August 2021

A GROUP of medical students on Monday called on Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to resign from his post in connection with the Commission on Audit’s report showing deficiencies in the use of P67.3-billion Covid19 funds of the Department of Health.

In a statement, the Philippine Medical Students’ Association said that Duque is incapable of leading the country’s pandemic response.

“This evidently shows how incapable Secretary Duque is to effectively manage and lead the country’s health system together with his personal agendas to defraud the Filipinos and deprive them of their right to health,” PMSA said.

Earlier, COA flagged the DOH over deficiencies in its pandemic funds. The department, however, clarified that the deficiencies found in the use of Covid19 budget is not conclusive to corruption.

Duque said that all procured medical items such as ventilators, Covid19 testing kits, personal protective equipment and medicines were all documented.

However, the PMSA stressed that the deficient use of billions of funds reveals DoH’s corruption and negligence to provide quality health care to the people.

“The COA audit proved what the PMSA and the health sector have been calling out regarding the very poor leadership and failed Covid19-response of the DOH under the helm of Secretary Francisco Duque,” the group said.

“More importantly, we call for the end of Duque’s stint as the Secretary of Health for the gravely failed pandemic response under his leadership, and ultimately an end to Duterte’s criminally negligent regime that has only unleashed terror and endless suffering to Filipinos,” it added.