MANILA -- ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro on Thursday said Filipinos are not to blame for the rising number of cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the low safety ranking of the Philippines in a global assessment.
This after Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace is considering a "total lockdown" to contain the virus following reports that more people were violating enhanced community quarantine protocols.
"Roque is certainly doing a very good job of trying to make the Duterte administration look good despite its incompetent and slow COVID response. Hindi niya dapat pinapasa sa taumbayan ang kainutilan ng pamahalaan," she said.
The lawmaker said that the government's inadequate response to the COVID-19 pandemic is the reason why the country has yet to contain the pathogen.
"Kaya nakapasok ang [virus] dahil minaliit ang banta ng COVID-19 at bine-baby ang Tsina. Kaya libreng lumalaganap ang virus dahil hanggang ngayon ay wala pang makatotohanang mass testing at contact tracing, na batay sa karanasan ng ibang bansa ay mga pinaka-epektibong paraan upang pababain ang mga na-i-infect at namamatay," Castro said.
"Kaya maraming namamatay at naka-quarantine na frontliners dahil pagong ang procurement of [personal protective equipment]. Mas nakakahiya ang pamahalaang ayaw makinig sa mga panawagan ng mamamayan na nakabatay sa siyentipiko at medikal na paraan kontra-COVID," she added.
Castro said many Filipinos are faced with the choice between breaking quarantine protocols which risks infection and dying of hunger due to "irresponsible imposition of lockdowns without government ensuring urgent socioeconomic relief."
She added that while people are complying with the quarantine protocols, the government should fulfill its duties to ensure that delivery of food and non-food aid through the social amelioration program and medical solutions such as mass testing, targeted isolation and treatment, and contact tracing are immediately implemented.
"The people pay taxes so that they are provided with basic social services at the moment of need, and for a government that is competent and has a sense of urgency for their welfare," she said.
-- with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News