MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte’s televised report released late Monday was “lacking” in details on mass testing and financial aid for Filipinos reeling from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, a senator said Tuesday.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros said the President “should act with a sense of urgency” following the stimulus law that gave him special powers to address the contagion.
“After almost 8 hours of delay, the public was presented with neither a sound assessment nor a concrete plan to address the novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19 crisis,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
“What are the steps being taken by the government to enhance our capacity for mass testing? How do we ensure that there are enough personal protective equipment [PPE] in every hospital? How do we get the cash assistance to the most vulnerable as soon as possible? So far, the President provided no clear answers to these questions. It is alarming.”
Gabriela Women’s Partylist echoed Hontiveros’ concerns, saying it was better if Duterte mentioned the names of fallen health workers instead of “oligarchs and corporation who are just sharing crumbs from their profit.”
“It is very inappropriate for Duterte to romanticize the death of our health workers under current circumstances as some stroke of luck. In fact he should be alarmed: we are losing those who are supposed to save lives,” it said.
“How could the President miss this very critical lens at this crucial time? Bakit sasabihing swerte sila sa kanilang pagkamatay gayong dapat na manatili silang buhay nang makapagpatuloy sa paglilingkod sa bayan?”
The country’s hospitals continue to suffer from a lack of PPEs as the supply of medical equipment plunged worldwide, while at least 12 doctors have died fighting in the frontlines against the respiratory illness.
The Philippines has declared a national emergency and placed Luzon under a month-long lockdown COVID-19, which has infected 1,546 in the country as of Monday afternoon.