MANILA - Government workers need to be "inspired" instead of being "discouraged" in its COVID-19 efforts, an official said Monday in response to Vice President Leni Robredo's proposals on how to improve the country's anti-virus measures.
Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III of the Department of the Interior and Local Government earlier took a swipe at the Vice President, calling her ""non-essential" amid a row over deliveries of "lugaw" or rice porridge.
"It (reminded me of) the non-essential statements of the (Vice) President these past weeks, attacking our government, making unvetted statements instead of inspiring and encouraging us to work hand in hand to fight this pandemic," he told ANC's Headstart.
"It seems in our country instead of the opposition helping out and encouraging even us government workers I think we’re being discouraged by attacking what we’re doing."
Densing said government was "willing to take the criticism as long as it’s true and it’s verified."
He said programs being proposed by Robredo are already being implemented.
"These statements are unfair to us working in government. We need to be inspired and encouraged right now," he said.
Critics often call Robredo "lugaw", in reference to the rice porridge that her team would at times bring to calamity survivors.
"That was clear. For people involved in politics, they know who is the lugaw," Densing said.
Robredo on Sunday told government to set objectives as it placed the capital region and nearby provinces under strict lockdown until April 11.
The Vice President urged the Duterte administration to empower local governments for intensified COVID-19 testing and building of more isolation facilities.
The Philippines, which has the longest lockdowns in the world, on Easter Sunday tallied 11,028 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total virus infections to 795,051.