President Duterte has given the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) 10 days to release the allowances and benefits the government owed medical workers.

In a Palace meeting aired Saturday morning, Duterte ordered the agencies to pay the health workers following protests over the government’s late releasing of funds.

“I am now ordering, this is an order, (Health Secretary Francisco Duque III), bayaran mo. Use whatever money there is. Bayaran mo ‘yung hinihingi ng mga nurses both in government and those outside of government, the volunteers,” the president said.

“I know that this, bayaran mo, it is upon your request to the DBM. Hindi ikaw (Duque) ang kukuha diyan sa bulsa mo para ibayad mo, correct? I would like now, itong naghawak ng pera or may authority to spend, DBM, I’m giving you 10 days,” he added.

Duterte told Duque to exhaust all available funds to pay the frontliners.

“Bayaran mo. Kung wala kang pera, gastusin mo lahat ‘yung ano diyan pagka… I’m ordering you to use every money there,” the president said.

Should the DOH and DBM lack personnel to process the funds, Duterte quipped that the agencies should borrow state auditors.

“DBM, I’m giving you 10 days. Wala kayong personnel? Borrow from other agencies or from kung saan. Magkuha kayo ng mga empleyado o hiraman ninyo ‘yung taga-COA (Commission on Aufdit),” Duterte said.

The unreleased benefits for health workers were part of the Bayanihan 2 budget, which lapsed in June. John Ezekiel J. Hirro