On Monday night, April 27, 2020, President Duterte addressed the Filipino people once more on television, this time with special reference to two important agencies of our government. The President has ordered the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to hire more personnel to enable their offices to operate 24 hours during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

Duterte said the FDA and the DOST must “double” their workforce in light of the health crisis. “Your offices must run 24 hours. So you must hire a lot of med tech or medical graduates who are just waiting for the results of their licensure exam.”

“Or anybody in the health services, if you want to volunteer I have authorized both this office, FDA and the DOST to employ as much as many that would be required to enable the agencies to work day and night,” he added.

In his report to Congress on the use of his additional powers for the COVID-19 crisis, Duterte said the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had approved the request of the Department of Health (DOH) to hire more than 15,757 healthcare professionals to augment the country’s healthcare workforce. A P2.7-billion budget was set aside by the government for the emergency hiring of health care professionals under a contract of service for three months.