Brands use COA findings, Duque remarks for social media advertisements

August 20, 2021 - 1:55 PM
DOH chief Duque
Health Secretary Francisco Duque. (Illustration: Ana Crescini for Interaksyon; Sleepasil, PNA composite)

Three advertisements perceived to be “throwing a shade” to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III‘s emotional remarks to the Commission of Audit and his agency’s discovered fund “deficiencies” surfaced on local social media.

Sleep supplement Sleepasil on Thursday shared on Facebook an outline of a bespectacled man wearing a long-sleeved shirt with a pin.

“We might be the one you’re looking for, Sec. If sleep is your problem—then let’s have more sleep and less drama together. #Sleepasil,” its caption reads with a nerd face emoji.

Sleepasil Duque
A screengrab of Sleepasil’s advertisement shared on Facebook on Aug. 19, 2021. (Screengrab by Interaksyon from Sleepasil’s official Facebook page)

It also amused Filipinos who got the reference, despite the brand not dropping names.

“The savagery. Hahaha!” a Facebook user commented.

“The shade! Nice one, SLEEPASIL!!!!! Will buy more of your tablets for a more less dramatic and peaceful sleep!!!” another online user exclaimed with laughing-with-tears emojis.

A different Filipino even tagged the Facebook page of the Department of Health itself.

“Department of Health (Philippines) oh ‘yan. Anti-warak pills po,” he wrote with a woozy face emoji.

Roofing product manufacturer Colorsteel Roofing Philippines also used the opportunity by using terms in Duque’s emotional remarks addressed to COA Chairperson Michael Aguinaldo at a congressional hearing—”winarak” or to be destroyed.

“Palitan na ang mga bubong na winarak ng panahon. Mag Colorsteel Roof ka na! Kalidad at ganda sa presyong abot kaya,” a post on its Facebook page reads.

Colorsteel Duque
A screengrab of Colorsteel’s advertisement shared on Facebook on Aug. 18, 2021. (Screengrab by Interaksyon from Colorsteel Roofing’s official Facebook page)

The post similarly amused Filipinos who noticed the term in its advertisement.

“The shaaaade HAHAHAHAHA,” a Facebook user exclaimed.

“Look at that, a roofing company that actually provides shade,” another online user quipped.

“Updated sa tag line haha! Pasok sa marketing!” wrote a different user with a laughing-with-tears emoji.

In relation to the issue, a Japanese discount store also took it as an opportunity to promote its clear water dipper using DOH’s P67 billion worth of “deficiencies” as a reference.

“Did you know? If you have P67 billion, you can get 1,522,727,272 [pieces] of this 44-peso aesthetic tabo from Japan Home Centre. A gentle reminder to always wash our hands and keep safe!” the store said on a Facebook post.

Japan Home Center
A screengrab of Japan Home Center’s advertisement shared on Facebook on Aug. 19, 2021. (Screengrab by Interaksyon from Japan Home Centre’s official Facebook page)

Filipinos also dropped their own quips in the comments section.

“Hindi po ba ‘yan mabilis mawarak?” a Facebook user asked.

“Buti pa ‘yung tabo, transparent HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA,” another online user commented.

“No need to remind corrupt people. Magaling na silang maghugas ng kamay,” wrote a different user in reference to the handwashing picture.

Flagged by COA 

Duque aired his woes against the state auditing body in a congressional inquiry conducted by the House Committee on Public Accounts on Tuesday.

His department was flagged for unutilized COVID-19 pandemic funds, procurement deficiencies and unauthorized grant of meal allowances.

The deficiencies stood at P66.28 billion but further auditing reveals “P1.036 billion more of that,” making it a total of P67.32 billion, according to a report.

The funds were supposed to boost the country’s healthcare system and address the ongoing public health crisis which has been continuously upending lives.

Duque, in trying to address COA’s findings, got emotional and accused the state auditing body of supposedly ruining the health agency’s reputation.

“Winarak na ninyo kami, eh! Winarak na ninyo ang dangal ng DOH! Winarak ninyo ang lahat ng mga kasama dito! Hindi kami makaharap sa mga tao dahil lahat ang dami-daming sinasabi, ang dami-daming paratang. Wala pa rin akong tulog! Ilang gabi na po ito,” he said.

“Masakit po talaga sa amin ito dahil kami ho ang pangunahing ahensya na humaharap, tumutugon sa panahon na ito. Sabi ko nga sa inyo, nagkasakit na ang mga tao ko, nag-isolate, nag-quarantine, may namatay na, pero por Diyos por Santo, maawa naman kayo, kayo nga ang pumunta dito at kayo ang gumawa?” Duque added.

He also argued that the COA did not accept explanations that the DOH had submitted.

The COA is constitutionally mandated to examine and audit the use of government funds and property to prevent “irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or unconscionable expenditures.”

RELATED: Juxtaposed: Duque’s impassioned spiel and health workers’ struggles