The lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health care workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic was due to the global shortage, Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire of the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.
The government was criticized for failing to provide health workers with enough PPEs, especially those stationed in government-owned health facilities as evidenced by state-run hospitals appealing for donations of protective gear.
“Nais po naming ipaalam, may global shortage po ng PPE as a result of COVID-19 response [worldwide],” Vergeire said.
“Maingat po ang pag-allocate ng budget. May nagsasabi po na ang laki-laki ng budget ng DOH, bakit hindi bumili? Gusto man po nating bumili, wala po tayong mabilhan kaya umaasa po tayo sa donasyon sa ngayon,” Vergeire added.
The Duterte administration had announced a P27 billion stimulus fund to address the COVID-19 pandemic
But of this number, P14 billion was allocated to the tourism sector while only P3 billion went to the health sector.
The Finance department justified the P14 billion for the tourism sector by describing it as the most affected.
As of March 23, there were 396 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines. Of these, 33 patients had died while 18 recovered.
President Rodrigo Duterte placed Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine since March 16 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the banning of mass transportation and the imposition of an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. — DVM, GMA News