Solon, netizens call out Gwen for doctor shaming

Lorraine L. Ecarma (The Freeman) - June 25, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — A lawmaker has joined netizens in calling out Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia for "doctor-shaming" after she called out a doctor for criticizing her promotion of steam inhalation online.

In her virtual presser last June 23 streamed live by Sugbo News, Garcia called out a doctor who pointed out the danger imposed by enforcing mandatory steam inhalation to Capitol employees. 

The doctor was referring to a memorandum signed last June 18 by Provincial Administrator Noli Valencia which required employees to practice steam inhalation or what is known in Cebu as ‘tuob’ in their respective workstations twice a day.

Stated in the memorandum, ‘tuob' should be done between eight to nine every morning and between four to five in the afternoon. 

This, the doctor said in a Facebook post which has since been deleted, may cause further infection because of the aerosol from the steam.

"Kung makada’g memorandum, murag doctor naka prescribe. Maypa’g ga doctor ni sila uy. Wala nagpolitika," the post reads.

"Mahurot jud ang empleyado sa inyong workstations. I-google and aerosol beh," it reads.

A fellow doctor also commented on the post saying those who recommend such practice deserve a slap in the face and should be burnt for cremation.

Garcia, in the same presser, defended that her initial order was to encourage the practice of ‘tuob’ among Capitol employees by providing basins and other materials needed to conduct it. She made it clear that she never ordered to make it mandatory.

"Basaha usa og ayo kay dili ako ang nagprepara ani nga memo. But I guess command responsibility. Dili na man gyud ni kay ako pang tagsa-tagsaon og basa. I trusted the administrator nga i-encourage," she said.

"I-strongly encourage kay di nato ni i-compulsory oy. Ngano gud tawn nga ato ning pugson, wa’y pugsanay," she added. 

Garcia also questioned the doctor’s business in meddling with administrative matters.

"Ako ning nahibaw-an doctor man kaha ka, ngano mag-apil-apil man ka dire sa administration namo sa Capitolyo. Unsa man ka mag-doctor ka or mag administrator ka," she said.

She also compared the doctor's two-year experience to that of her professor, Dr. Dale Pasco's 30-year practice as a medical doctor. Pasco guested in Garcia's previous presser saying he stands by ‘tuob’. He is also reportedly pioneering a study on the benefits of steam inhalation on the alleviation of COVID-19 symptoms. 

"Between you ug imong maestro, adto ko tuo sa imong maestro," she said.

Netizens took to social media to call out Garcia with the hashtag #NoToDoctorShaming saying she should prioritize Cebu Province’s mitigating measures against COVID-19 instead.

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also tweeted: "Protection. Compensation. Anti-discrimination. Dignity of the Profession and Labor. #NoToDoctorShaming."

"I vehemently denounce Gov. Gwen Garcia’s public shaming of a colleague," a twitter user wrote. 

"Can someone tell Governor Gwen Garcia that instead of publicly shaming those who criticize her admin’s decision, try listening to what they have to say; the reasons behind their rants, the suggestions that they could give, etc. Dalia ra pud nimo ma butthurt mam oi," another one tweeted.

In response to this, Garcia told The Freeman that she respects medical practitioners and accepts criticisms so long as they don't come with threats.

"Okay ra. Basta dili lang manghulga nga sagpaon ko, o "dauban para derecho na cremate" or worse, mangandoy nga "mahurot mi tanan. And these are doctors who are supposed to value human life," she said.

"To be clear, I have only the utmost respect and admiration for members of the medical profession who continue to be among those at the forefront in fighting this virus. But my respect ends when they begin to wish us harm, and even death," she added.  FPL (FREEMAN)

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