Robredo finds Duterte reports 'lacking'
MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said the virus response and aid measures she proposed to Malacañang last month have yet to be implemented, contrary to the remarks of Malacañang that her suggestions have been enforced and were "nothing new."
Robredo said she sent an 8-page "private" letter to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on June 30 containing suggestions in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic which she made in "good faith."
Among her proposals were for government to setup an online portal for all COVID-19 concerns, including available assistance to Filipinos affected by the pandemic, budget utilization and loans that government availed.
"Para iyong tao sanang nangangailangan, mayroon siyang mapupuntahan, at alam niya kung ano iyong puwede niyang apply-an. Naghanap ako, parang iyong data hiwa-hiwalay," she said in her weekly radio show.
(So that those who are in need aid know where to go and where they can apply. I looked, and it seems the data is fragmented.)
Robredo also said she requested for government to publish an "epidemic curve," which it has yet to accomplish but which the Office of the Vice President has been releasing.
"Hindi ko alam kung bakit hindi pinapublish iyong epidemic curve, kasi lahat naman ng bansa, ito iyong pinapublish kasi ito iyong basehan kung nafa-flatten ba iyong curve, kung tama ba iyong ginagawa natin. Kasi kung hindi ito nafa-flatten, gustong sabihin may mali tayong ginagawa," she said.
(I don't know why they are not publishing the epidemic curve because all other countries are publishing this. It's the basis for saying if the curve has been flattened, if we're doing things correctly. Because if the curve isn't flattened then we may be doing something wrong.)
The Vice President said she also raised to Roque why the country has yet to achieve its target of 30,000 daily COVID-19 tests which it aimed to accomplished in May and the discrepancy of virus data being released.
Malacañang earlier said the Philippines has the capacity to run 50,000 virus tests per day but the actual number of tests done averages at 12,000 daily as of late June.
Government has also yet to respond to her query on its total budget devoted to buying COVID-19 test kits, she added.
"Two months delayed na tayo doon sa target natin na 30,000. Pero kahit almost two months nang delayed, hindi pa rin natin nari-reach iyong 30,000. Syempre walang sagot sa akin, pero tinatanong ko ito," she said.
(The target of doing 30,000 tests a day has been delayed for 2 months, and still we have yet to reach 30,000. Of course, I asked about this but they never answered.)
Robredo said she also followed up on the 136,000 contact tracers government planned to hire. As of Sunday, the interior department said it has hired some 69,000 contact tracers.
She added that she also proposed measures on public transportation, including the use of service contracting instead of the boundary system, the creation of a contactless payment system, and programs for jeepney drivers, who were among the hardest-hit by the quarantine measures.
"Inulit ko na ito nang inulit: Sana hindi naman gawing dahilan iyong pandemic para lalo silang maghirap. Sana bigyan sila ng kagaanan. Kung magre-require iyong e-jeepneys, sana mas bigyan sila ng kaaganan para makapag-comply sila," Robredo said.
(I repeated this many times: I hope the pandemic is not used as an excuse to make their lives more difficult. I hope they get help. If e-jeepneys will be required, I hope the government helps them so they can comply.)
The Vice President also urged government to require stranded residents going back to their hometowns to undergo confirmatory COVID-19 tests and not just rapid tests.
"Sana iyong responsibility hindi ipasa sa LGUs. Sana national government ang magpa-swab test. Kasi kapag isasakay mo sila sa bus, mayroon lang diyan isa o dalawa na positive, hawa na lahat, mahahawa na lahat," she said.
(The responsibility should not be passed to LGUs. The government should conduct the swab tests. If you are making them ride a bus, if there's one of two there who is positive, everyone gets infected.)
PRESIDENT'S REPORTS LACKING?
Robredo acknowledged the President's continuous reports on government efforts against the virus mandated by the Bayanihan Act.
She, however, said the reports that are usually aired late at night seemed to be "lacking."
"Iyong paglalabas in public ni Presidente, parang ang gandang opportunity niya para ipaabot sa tao ano ba iyong mga programs, nasaan na ba tayo. Pero parang kulang... Parang kapag tapos na iyong programa, kapag tapos na iyong presscon, parang wala, kulang pa din sa pagkaintindi kung nasaan na tayo," she said.
(The President's public appearances would have been a great opportunity to tell the public about the programs, where we are now. But it seems lacking. It seems that after the program, the presscon, nothing, we still don't understand where we are now.)
"Kasi sa akin, napakahalaga ng communications, iyong assurance sa tao na papunta tayo sa mabuti kasi may ginagawa iyong pamahalaan. Parang sana mas ganoon, sana mas simple iyong pag-present, pagka-present available na sa website ng gobyerno iyong lahat na datos."
(Communications is very important for me, assuring the public that we are on the right track because we are doing something. I wish it was like that, the presentation is simpler and the data is immediately available on the government's website.)