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6月4日のまにら新聞から

Duterte expected to give deadline in releasing benefits for health workers, says Roque

[ 364 words|2020.6.4|英字 (English) ]

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to order the concerned government agencies to immediately provide the benefits for the families of health workers who perished due to coronavirus disease, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after some senators accused the government of serious neglect over the families of 32 health workers who died of COVID-19 when it failed to release the P1 million compensation for each of them as provided by the Bayanihan Heal As One Act.

"We agree with the senators. That's why in my talk I will ask the President, 'what is now your mandate?'," he said in a television interview.

Roque said he would ask Duterte when he meets him in Davao City on Thursday when he presides a meeting with the members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Roque recalled that when he discussed with Duterte the situation of over 24,000 stranded overseas Filipino workers in Metro Manila, he immediately gave a one-week deadline for the concerned agencies to send them to their provinces, except those who were tested positive for COVID-19.

"So, tomorrow when I meet with the President, I expect him to give the responsible parties again a deadline when to give the benefits to those who have gotten sick which under the Bayanihan Law is a hundred thousand (pesos) and to the heirs of those who have died which is one million (pesos)," he said.

During his meeting with Duterte, Roque said he would also ask him about his decision to suspend the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States.

"It was not publicly brought up. I learned about it two weeks ago, but it did not come from the mouth of the President himself. So, I need to talk to him about it," he said.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin announced on Tuesday about the President's instruction to communicate with the US Embassy in Manila to suspend the termination of VFA "in light of political and other developments in the region."

Roque could not give further explanation on the sudden change of heart of the President regarding the VFA during the interview. Celerina Monte/DMS