Gov't transparency in infection numbers needed, says VP
MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday raised concerns over the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, as infections have risen despite having one of the world's longest lockdowns.
"Kahit ano pa'ng sabihin na nasa mabuti tayong kalagayan, 'yung datos hindi 'yan ang ipinapakita," she told Teleradyo's "Omaga-Diaz Report," as the country's coronavirus cases near 42,000.
The Philippines has the third most number of COVID-19 patients among Southeast Asian nations since the pandemic began in January.
Indonesia ranked first with 62,000 cases, followed by Singapore with 44,000, according to a running tally from US-based Johns Hopkins University.
However, the Vice President noted that the country has the most number of active cases and lowest recovery rate in the region, despite imposing lockdown restrictions in mid-March to curb the spread of COVID-19.
"Nakakahiya 'yung posisyon natin," she said.
"Ang mas nakakabahala, marami sa ating namumuno na nagsasabi na we're doing OK, na walang problema."
Robredo said the country's COVID-19 testing capacity has not yet reached its target of 30,000 daily tests, while its plan of increasing the number of COVID-19 laboratories and contact tracers has also fallen short.
"Ang tao mas cooperative siya kung honest tayo sa kanila. Ang tao mas magiging understanding kung wala tayong tinatago, wala tayong sinu-sugarcoat, wala tayong kinukubli," she said.
" 'Yung sense ko ngayon, hindi masyadong transparent 'yung datos."
The Vice President urged the current administration to zero in on the health crisis first.
"Halimbawa, anti-terror law. Pinagtuunan natin ng pansin, maraming oras na ginugol pero meron tayong mas importante. Halimbawa 'yung ABS-CBN, sa panahon na kailangan na kailangan natin ng impormasyon, kailangan na kailangan natin ng trabaho para sa mga mamamayan, ito pa 'yung pinag-aksayanan ng oras," she said.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque earlier said the country was winning the war against COVID-19.
He also said the country defied the prediction of University of the Philippines researchers that there would be 40,000 COVID-19 cases by end of June.
While the Philippines has confirmed 36,438 coronavirus cases then, data from the Department of Health showed that it had 46,272 positive tests for the virus, which will have to undergo validation first before being listed as confirmed cases.