By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III failed to mute his microphone during another round of Senate panel investigation discussing the Commission on Audit’s (COA) report regarding the P67.3 billion “deficiency” in the Department of Health’s (DOH) 2020 COVID-19 budget.

“Nagulo na ‘yung utak ko, hindi ko na alam kung…” Duque said to someone from his office, completely unaware of  being unmuted.

Upon hearing Duque’s sentiments, Senator Richard Gordon, the chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, told Duque to seek psychosocial support regarding the matter.

“Marami kayong psychiatrist sa DOH. Pagamot ka muna sa psychiatrist niyo sa DOH. Meron kamin ditong mga psychosocial support dito [sa Senate],” Gordon said.

“I know it’s very stressful to work in the government so please make sure that you get it done,” he added.

Gordon then reminded Duque that accountability is vital in the budget cycle.

“I consider you as a friend but my loyalty is to the country first before my loyalty to the government.”

Responding to the COA report, the DOH earlier said that all transactions are documented for. It also added that it exerted all efforts to implement programs supported by bayanihan laws amid the pandemic.