MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte should present a comprehensive plan to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including how the government will restore the economy and help those left jobless and whose businesses were shut down, when he delivers Monday his 5th State of the Nation Address, Sen. Risa Hontiveros said Sunday.
“Sa 2020 SONA, hindi pwedeng magpaligoy-ligoy ang gobyerno. Hindi na masisilaw ng gimik, teatro, o mga pagbabanta ang taumbayan… Kailangan ang pagpapakita ng tunay na malasakit sa pakikinig sa mga hinaing ng Pilipino at pagtugon sa pang-araw-araw nating pangangailangan,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
(During the 2020 SONA, the government should not beat around the bush. The people can no longer be dazzled by gimmicks, theatrics or threats... Compassion is needed in hearing out the cries of the Filipinos for our daily needs.)
Hontiveros noted that nearly 80,000 COVID-19 confirmed cases have already been recorded in the country, and the death toll is approaching the 2,000-mark.
“Dumarami pa ang mahigit pitong milyon Pilipino na nawalan ng hanapbuhay. Hindi lang sila mga istatistika. Bawat isa sa kanila ay may kuwento, may pamilya, at may mga mahal sa buhay,” she said.
(The number of Filipinos losing jobs is growing past 7 million. These are not just statistics. Each of them has a story, has a family, and has loved ones.)
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said last week that Duterte will discuss in “much detail” the government’s pandemic recovery roadmap during his penultimate SONA.
Hontiveros also challenged the administration to increase “transparency and accountability for the billions of pesos in funds being used for the country’s COVID-19 response.”