Robredo camp: Gov’t should focus on what it must do vs COVID-19, not on other countries

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 03 2021 04:45 AM

Robredo camp: Gov’t should focus on what it must do vs COVID-19, not on other countries 1
Coronavirus disease patients are treated on wheelchairs amid shortage of beds at a makeshift extension of the COVID-19 emergency room of government hospital National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City, which has declared overcapacity amid rising COVID-19 infections in Metro Manila, April 26, 2021. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

Instead of paying attention to how other countries are faring battling the pandemic, the government must keep its eyes trained on its own goals and work to achieve them, the spokesperson of Vice-President Leni Robredo said Sunday. 

“Huwag na muna nating tingnan iyong comparison sa ibang bansa. Ang focus natin, ano ba iyong target natin, ano ba iyong gusto nating maabot?” lawyer Barry Gutierrez said in a radio interview.

“Sa kasalukuyan, mataas na rin ang ating positivity rate . . . Dumadami pa rin ang mga kaso natin, kahapon (Saturday) nasa mga 9,000 ang mga dagdag na kaso. Lumagpas na tayo ng 1 milyon na kaso ng COVID. So iyan ang mga kailangan nating tingnan.” 

(Let’s not compare ourselves to other countries. Our focus should be what’s our target? What other goals do we need to reach? Currently, we have a high positivity rate. The cases are going up. Saturday, we were up to 9,000 more cases. We have more than 1 million COVID cases. These are the things we need to be looking at.)

Gutierrez was answering a question referring to a memo instructing government news agencies to emphasize that the Philippines was “faring better than other countries.”

The order was issued by President Duterte and confirmed by the Presidential Communications Operations Office last week.

“There is nothing wrong with this, nor is it a lie. It is simply amplifying facts,” Virginia Arcilla-Agtay of the PCOO Integrated News Team said in a statement.

If government wanted to gauge its work handling the pandemic, Gutierrez said why can’t it look at countries that are doing well, not those who have struggled.

“Hindi ba gusto mong ihambing ang sarili mo doon sa pinakamagaling, di ba?” he said. 

(Don’t we want to compare ourselves to countries that are faring better?)

For Gutierrez, wrong issues and wrong questions are being tackled.

“Paano natin mapapababa iyong transmission rate? Paano natin mapapababa iyong positivity rate? Paano natin mapapabilis iyong rollout ng vaccines?” he said. 

“Kaysa tinitingnan natin iyong India at pinipilit natin, ‘Pero mas masama doon.’ Ano’ng tulong sa atin no’n?”

(How do we lower the transmission rate, the positivity rate? How do we roll out vaccines faster? Instead of looking at India and insisting, ‘But they’re worse off there’, how’s that any help to use?)

The Philippines confirmed 8,346 new cases of the disease on Sunday, bringing the country’s total to 1,054,983. 

The Department of Health, meanwhile, also reported 9,072 new recoveries, pushing the total number of Filipinos who recovered from the disease to 966,080.