ARNOLD ALMACEN/CMO“I think it is about time that he gives up his position,” says Mayor Jerry Treñas of Iloilo City. As of July 31, Iloilo City has 91 local cases, 47 of which are active and 40 already recovered. The city has also 64 infected locally stranded individuals and overseas Filipino workers. This tally surpassed the number of COVID-19 cases in China, the original epicenter of the pandemic. As of Thursday, China has 87,680 cases. But the new record on the number of new cases was not the only thing that worries Treñas. According to the mayor, the “miraculous” DOH’s adjustment – now identifying mild and asymptomatic cases who stayed healthy for 14 days as recovered patients – is enough for President Rodrigo Duterte to fire Duque. Duterte defended Duque numerous times amid criticisms on how his agency is handling the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency said reconciliation activity resulted in over 3,000 identified recoveries from July 12 to 14./PN The keywords “mass recovery” is now a trending topic on Twitter, with over 7,400 tweets as of posting time – with majority of the posts denouncing the government for allegedly trying to deceive the public. ILOILO City – Mayor Jerry Treñas once more urged Health secretary Franciso Duque III to step down. Duterte said he has known Duque since the time of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. “Libagon gid ang tanan nga gina-obra nila,” Treñas said. “The massive data reconciliation efforts have resulted in faster and more accurate tagging of health statuses, particularly on death and recoveries. Data on recovery reconciliations will be reported every 15 days,” the DOH said. “Mabudlay para saton gobyerno nga maka-move forward if we have a leader like this,” Treñas pointed out. “We have already overtaken China [for COVID-19 cases] and all of sudden DOH comes up with this idea,” Treñas said. But according to Treñas, if the President finds it difficult to fire Duque, it’s about time for the latter to voluntarily resign. Back in June, the mayor questioned the department’s move to pull out rural doctors from Western Visayas to Cebu City. On Thursday, DOH also recorded the highest single increase in confirmed cases at 3,954, bringing the total number to 89,374 – of which, 1,983 patients died while 65,064 recovered. According to the DOH, the surge in the number of recoveries was attributed to enhanced data reconciliation efforts with local government units through “Oplan Recovery.” These thousands of new recoveries shocked Treñas. “Medyo nakibot ako,” he said. “If Secretary Duque cannot really perform as Health chief, I think it is about time he gives up his position,” Treñas stressed. The President, according to Treñas, should hire more qualified and competent doctors who can “deliver the goods better” in addressing the health concerns of the country. The mayor was also anxious about the surge in new recoveries, saying DOH might also identify the city’s COVID-19 asymptomatic cases as recoveries. This was the second time Treñas demanded for the DOH chief’s resignation. The DOH has been the target of ridicule in social media, after netizens noted that the government supposedly changed the way it tallies recoveries just to make it appear that more people are fighting off the disease. His fresh call came after the Department of Health (DOH) tallied a “dubious” record of 38,075 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) recoveries nationwide in a single day.