Health workers group blast Duterte’s ‘maliit na bagay’ remark

Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo from PTV)

MANILA, Philippines — The Alliance of Health Workers decried President Rodrigo Duterte’s “maliit na bagay (it’s not a big deal)” remark toward the recent COVID-19 spike, especially when the country never really flattened the curve during the ongoing pandemic.

AHW National President Robert Mendoza said that the pandemic, which has yet to be solved, has taken so many health workers’ lives and that was the result of the national government’s “efficiency, incompetence and negligence.”


“Mr. President, COVID-19 is not a small thing because extreme hardship, sacrifice and many from our fellow health workers have laid down their lives just to combat the infectious disease,” said Mendoza in a statement.

“They condemn the growing number of COVID-19 deaths and infected health workers due to the DOH and government’s failure, inefficiency, incompetence and negligence and no clear plan in handling the pandemic and health crisis.”

On Saturday, the Philippines recorded the highest number of cases in one day with 7,999 in a recent trend that saw the infections go up each day.

The AHW also called on the Duterte administration to lay out a comprehensive plan on resolving the worsening pandemic and health crisis.

Out of all the countries in the Southeast Asian region, only the Philippines is experiencing a surge in number of cases.

The medical workers’ battle in the frontlines also led to the death of 82 individuals in that field.

AHW Secretary General Benjamin Santos also demanded action from the Department of Health to release published clinical trials and findings on Sinovac—the Chinese-made vaccine that Duterte and his allies have continued to praise.

“Last March 14, 2021, a fellow health worker (Medical technologist) from Manila died due to COVID-19. In news reports, last March she was vaccinated with a Sinovac vaccine, then on March 10 she was hospitalized,” said Santos.

“We demand from the DOH a thorough and in -depth investigation and analysis to root out its cause of her death. Especially since until now, there are no published clinical trials and findings on Sinovac, which we have long called for to be released before vaccination is carried out and that she must be indemnified worth P1Million pesos.”


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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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