Francisco Duque III

Duque says he will resign after resolving COA findings

Duque says he will resign after resolving COA findings

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III gives an update to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on August 24, 2021. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

'I’m stepping down…pero bigyan lang ako ng kaunting panahon para maayos namin ng DOH ang lahat ng COA observations and findings,' says Health Secretary Francisco Duque

Embattled Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Saturday, August 28, that he will resign after he resolves the audit findings in the Department of Health (DOH).

“‘Yun naman ang aking pakiusap na i-clear ang COA findings, COA observations, ang aming action plan doon sa recommendations, and then I am leaving,” Duque said on Saturday in an interview over GMA’s DZBB.

(That’s my request, to clear the Commission on Audit findings first, the COA observations, our action plan on the recommendations, and then I am leaving.)

Duque gave this statement on Saturday after he was asked to respond to Senator Bong Go’s call to him during a Senate hearing on Friday to “make the supreme sacrifice” when the time comes.

“It’s a matter of time. ‘Yun naman talaga ang hiningi ko. I’m stepping down…pero bigyan lang ako ng kaunting panahon para maayos namin ng DOH ang lahat ng COA observations and findings,” Duque told GMA News.

(That’s all I ask for. I am stepping down, but just give me a little bit more time to resolve in the DOH all the COA observations and findings.)

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said that he would not fire Duque, but he would accept his resignation if the Cabinet official “voluntarily” resigns.

The Commission on Audit (COA) flagged DOH’s deficient handling of P67 billion worth of pandemic funds in 2020, saying it led to missed opportunities that could have saved lives during the pandemic.

COA has given Duque 60 days from July 27 to report back to the commission what among its recommendations had been implemented, which auditors said should be done immediately.

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Among the COA’s recommendations are for the DOH to submit missing documents to support the disbursement of millions worth of cash allowances, as well as those spent for gift certificates to front liners.

COA also wants documents to justify why the DOH transferred P41 billion of its pandemic budget to the now controversial Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM).

Duque says he will resign after resolving COA findings

– Lian Buan/Rappler.com