MANILA - There is nothing wrong with doing a final inspection and blessing of a government project, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said on Wednesday after a senator criticized a ribbon-cutting ceremony and photo-ops session during the inauguration of a new health facility as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
"Hindi naman masama kung ipa-bless mo 'yung building and 'yung final inspection is important and we do this for all public infrastructure," the Department of Public Works and Highways chief told ANC's Headstart.
(It's not bad to bless a building and the final inspection is important and we do this for all public infrastructure.)
"To be fair to government, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with conducting a final inspection, and if we bless a building, I don’t think that should be an issue. That’s why I don’t want to dwell on this. I think what’s more important is the structure itself that the government is doing to address this issue," he said.
Sen. Nancy Binay on Twitter said it would have been better for the facility to have been opened immediately instead of wasting time on ribbon cutting and photo opportunities.
She said this while quoting a reporter's tweet about the inauguration of the Quezon Institute Offsite Modular Hospital, which was attended by attended by Villar, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, Health Sec. Francisco Duque III, vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., testing czar Sec. Vince Dizon, and other government officials.
"These things are unnecessary & leave a bad taste for families of Covid patients who are racing against life & time," the senator said.
The facility, which reportedly can accommodate 110 patients, was inaugurated at a time when many hospitals in Metro Manila and nearby provinces are in full capacity.
The ceremony happened on the same day the Philippines reported a record-high 382 additional deaths due to COVID-19. The country's cumulative total of coronavirus infections is currently at 812,760.