After being spotted, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III got criticized by Netizens when he visited Brgy. Baclaran, Paranaque City for a Bida Bostonero.
The campaign aims to mitigate the COVID-19 transmission by enforcing social distancing measures on the citizens for at least one meter.
“Makatutulong ito sa pagputol ng kadena ng hawaan at mababawasan ang kumpulan sa public places,” Duque stated.
He also proceeded to distribute some masks and face shields to vendors and passers-by.
With the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the country, Duque earned backlash for his visit, saying that it’s a stupid move for the secretary.
Putangina anong ginagawa ni Duque sa palengke????? Putangina 7100 cases today tapos tangahan overload si gago.
— AltABSCBN (@AltABSCBN) March 19, 2021
One claimed that the reason why the secretary forgot to sign the papers for Pfizer–it’s because of his other priorities.
KAYA MO NAKALIMUTAN AYUSIN YUNG PAPELES FOR PFIZER KAKAGANYAN MO PUNYETA MAGRESIGN KA NA https://t.co/ZwCaGayNUY
— dora (@doracrybaby) March 19, 2021
Another even described it as “trivial fieldwork.”
“Imbes na bakuna dala dahil trilyon and inutang, facemask at bastion pa rin ang DOH,” a Twitter user exclaimed.
Ampotah! Imbes Bakuna ang dala dahil Trilyon ang inutang Facemask at bastion pa din ang DoH !!!! #Dutertepalpak #Tanginamoduque https://t.co/CiLcTCOEca
— migstower #DumpSaraDump (@migstower) March 19, 2021
Some can’t help but compare the country’s COVID response to its neighboring countries who have already started with their vaccination drive while the Philippines are still giving away face shields.
Putangina yung mga karatig bansa natin nagba-bakuna na tapos makikita mo si Duque na nagaabot ng face shield sa palengke. Bakit maitataboy ba ng putanginang face shield na yan ang virus at ayan ang pinamimigay niyo sa mga tao??
— Charla (@chrlsbnt) March 19, 2021
One even accused the secretary of using the market visit to make himself more visible for the 2022 elections.
Nagpaparamdam na rin si Sec Duque para sa 2022 senatorial election.
Sa halip na mag strategize laban sa COVID -19 sa opisina, sa mga palengke naglalagi para magpakita sa mga tao.
Halatang hindi busy as secretary!
— J R Reyes (@datumx11) March 19, 2021
“7,000 cases na pero nakuha mo pang mag-libot,” a netizen said.
Tangina mo Duque!!!! Ano ba kasing ginagawa mo sa palengke putangina ka. 7k cases na, pero nakuha mo pang maglibot letse. Hindi naman 'yan 'yung trabaho mo.
— Amor | #OustDuterteNOW (@amorgatilogo) March 19, 2021
It was also called a “publicity stunt” and a Twitter user urged Duque to fix the country’s health system first before wasting his time.
Idiots do anything for publicity. Focus on your work as a Health Secretary, Set plans and Think. Stop wasting your time with those public stunts. Attention seeker!! Ayusin mo health system sa pilipinas gunggong https://t.co/5Hw08Gzg2Y
— Harry (@BadlesHarry) March 19, 2021
Despite the number of daily COVID positive records, Duque said that the Philippines is not “ten steps backward” with its pandemic response, as claimed by former DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral.
“Hindi naman siguro tama na sasabihin na ten steps backward. Please lang. Isipin naman yung malasakit nila sa healthcare workers natin na ang kabayanihan ay di mapantayan,” Duque answered.
“Sana naman wag ganun kalupit ang kanilang mga opinyon. Kawawa naman tayong mga lingkod-bayan na talagang halos walang patid ang paninilbihan natin.”
The Philippines COVID-19 cases continue to rise, with 7,103 new infections on March 19, 2021, a year after the lockdowns were first implemented.