Press Release
September 12, 2020

Let's beat COVID with PGH director, ex-DoH secretaries leading govt response: Pangilinan

WITH the country's number of COVID-19 cases breaching the 250,000 mark yesterday (September 11), Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan on Saturday named at least three health experts who can lead government response to the ongoing health crisis.

Calling out again the Administration's lackluster response to the months' long calamity, Pangilinan reiterated his urgent call to replace Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and the rest in the COVID-related task forces.

"Problema ang leadership. Ano ang solusyon sa problema ng leadership? Palitan si Duque at mga nakapaligid dito at ilagay ang mahuhusay na public health experts," he said.

Pangilinan said the country has plenty of people who can better lead in dealing with the pandemic. He said the government can tap the services of public health experts who can lead the government to lower COVID cases, higher recoveries, and a more comprehensive, logical set of guidelines that would create a better normal.

"I nominate Philippine General Hospital Director Dr. Gap Legaspi, former Health Secretaries Manuel Dayrit or Esperanza Cabral," he said.

"Hayaan natin ang mga mahuhusay na eksperto ang siyang mamuno ng IATF. Hindi tayo inutil. Maraming magagaling na eksperto na mga doktor sa bansa. Kaya natin talunin ang COVID-19 basta mahusay ang in charge," the senator stressed.

For over a month now since August 6, the Philippines has been monitored to have the most number of COVID-19 cases with 252,964 as of September 11. Indonesia comes in second with 210,940, followed by Singapore at far third with 57,316 cases.

"Kung karera ang kampanya laban sa COVID-19, ang ibang bansa sa Asya tulad ng Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, at South Korea ay tumatakbo nang mabilis patungo sa finish line, habang ang Pilipinas gumagapang sa pagkakulelat," the Liberal Party leader said.

The Department of Health (DoH) reported 4,017 new cases yesterday (September 11), a number even higher than our neighboring countries' total number of cases. Thailand has a total of 3,461

cases while Vietnam has only 1,060. Malaysia has 9,810 cases.

In other parts of Asia, China, where the virus is believed to have originated, has arrested the COVID spread at 90,127. South Korea has 21,919 cases and Taiwan is still so enviable at 498 cases. The rest of the countries in the region such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei have less than 10,000 cases.

In his recorded address to the nation Monday night (September 7), President Rodrigo Duterte even encouraged embattled Secretary Duque to hold on to his post and reiterated that the health chief has his full trust.

At the outset of the pandemic, the President installed retired military and police generals to lead the various task forces and groups in-charge of policy direction and daily activities aimed at containing the spread of the virus.

Police personnel were deployed on the streets to arrest quarantine violators and to check on homes for COVID-positive patients.

While at this, corruption allegations continue inside PhilHealth, the state insurer supposed to guarantee free COVID-19 testing and treatment of Filipinos.

Pangilinan lamented that instead of gathering state resources toward relevant agencies and looking deep into evidence-based public health policy, the Administration made a display of its tough yet incompetent act.

"Without sweeping changes in leadership and direction at the DoH and our COVID task forces, we can only expect the cases to rise and relegate the Philippines further to last in this battle against the virus," he said.

(Figures from:

News Latest News Feed