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Duque Just Gave the DOH a Near-Perfect Rating of 9/10 for Handling the Pandemic

"I would give them nine to 10 in terms of great effort."
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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"I would give them 9 to 10 in terms of great effort." That's how Health Secretary Francisco Duque III described the performance of the Department of Health (DOH) in handling the pandemic. He was speaking to employees of the DOH during a briefing. 

According to Duque, the DOH exhibited sincerity to contributing and leading the national government’s pandemic response.

"Saludo po ako sa mga taga-Department of Health, lalong-lalo na sa ating mga doctor, mga nurses, mga lab technicians. Lahat po ng mga iyan sa bawat ospital ng DOH ay talaga pong sila ay nagbuwis ng kanilang mga buhay, at walang katumbas ang kanilang sakripisyo," said Duque. 

Duque also defended the DOH's lapses througout the year. 

"Wala naman pong hindi nagkakamali lalo na ang pinaguuusapan ay bagong virus ... Wala pong magaling sa COVID-19," said Duque. 

Duque has been the central figure in the Philippines' pandemic response. He received harsh criticism from ordinary Filipinos and lawmakers because of his alleged poor decision-making amid the crisis. 

Among the things he is being criticized for was his decision to delay imposing a travel ban on China, which many believe to be the cause of the spread of COVID-19 in the country. 

Last week, the DOH also defended the alleged 50 percent efficacy rating of Sinovac's Covid vaccine, angering politicians and Filipino citizens. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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