BATANGAS CITY – Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) vice presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte wanted to do nothing else during the height of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic but serve on the frontlines.
“It was so frustrating for me as a healthcare – background ko, allied medical professional background ko, it was so frustrating for me na yung wala ako doon sa frontlines,” Duterte told reporters in an ambush interview after meeting with the province’s health workers from the Nursing Service Administrators of the Philippines (ANSAP) at the Provincial Capitol Auditorium here.
In her speech, Duterte revealed that she was a respiratory therapy graduate whose heart is with the healthcare workers.
“In fact noon kasagsagan ng COVID-19 pandemic doon ko na-feel na I should have pursued my medical degree,” said the leading vice presidential bet.
“Because at the point when I was waiting for the results of the Bar, I was already thinking of going back to medical school. But hindi ako in-encourage ng family members ko,” the lady mayor recalled.
Determined to put her knowledge and background to good use, Duterte said she did volunteer work at Davao del Norte Regional Medical Center.
“What I did was a volunteer as a respiratory therapist. Doon na ko nag-volunteer sa kapitbahay namin, hindi sa Davao City because if I volunteer in Davao City, in hospitals in Davao City then they will always see me as the mayor,” she said.
“Unfortunately inabutan din ako ng filing of candidacy or the substitution part. So I wasn’t able to proceed with – I was able to do one rotation doon sa Davao del Norte Regional Medical Center,” the Lakas-CMD and Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) chairperson shared.
Life as we know it changed when COVID-19 emerged and became a pandemic in March 2020.
To the credit of the administration of Duterte’s father, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the Philippines was able to carry out aggressive vaccination efforts that has led to the gradual lowering of the threat posed by the deadly disease.
“So ang laki ng kailangang ipasalamat ng mga local government units sa mga healthcare workers natin,” Duterte said.