Press Release
August 4, 2020


The Senate on Monday adopted the resolution filed by Senator Richard J. Gordon calling for an inquiry into the current state of the health of the nation with emphasis on the status, capability and plan to combat the Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

In P.S. Resolution No. 483, Gordon pointed out that despite the 45-day enhanced community quarantine implemented, which cost the economy P1.1-trillion in losses, and 139 days of sporadic community quarantine, the country is still seeing an unabated increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, totalling 103,185 as of August 2, 2020.

He added that the unabated increase in cases has severely challenged the country's health care system that a number of hospitals were forced to suspend their admissions of COVID-19 patients because of full capacity or because of a bigger number of its hospital staff contracting COVID-19.

The pandemic also glaringly showed that the country has insufficient number of doctors and healthcare workers, which was even more highlighted after the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), on behalf of the medical community, appealed to the President of the Philippines to return to Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila from August 1 to 15 to recalibrate strategies against the COVID-19 or to be able to fight back more effectively in what they described as a "losing battle."

"The COVID-19 pandemic has brought our healthcare workers to exhaustion and infection, if not deaths. As of August 1, 2020, there were 5,008 health care workers who tested positive for COVID-19, 2 of which are severe, 38 of which have died, while 4,576 recovered. Our doctors and other healthcare workers have become extremely burnt out, fearful, stressed out, and anxious and many of them stopped reporting for work," Gordon said.

Hence, the senator, who is also chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross, underscored the need to reassess the health situation in the country and develop new strategies, a whole-of-society approach that would enable the government to inform and better equip citizens so they could fight more effectively and provide for themselves and their families, in cooperation with the science provided by doctors and healthcare workers.

"It behooves the Senate to listen to the plight of our doctors and other frontliners, and consequently to our suffering people, to find out what is wrong so we can alleviate their burden and provide the necessary impetus for all government agencies to work together to implement effective and science-based solutions and interventions and to finally start the rally against the fight with COVID-19," Gordon said in the resolution.

"NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, to call as it is hereby calls for the Senate to act as a Senate Committee of the Whole to conduct an inquiry on the state of the health of the nation with emphasis on the status of the plans and improving the capabilities of the government and our people, addressing particularly the plight of the healthcare workers so we can prevail against the COVID-19 pandemic," he urged.

In response to Gordon's call, the resolution was adopted and an investigation will be conducted by the Committee of the Whole, which is also set to conduct an inquiry on government health insurer, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation or PhilHealth.

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