MANILA-- Malacañang dismissed Tuesday claims that the government has no pandemic recovery roadmap after President Rodrigo Duterte's fifth State of the Nation Address failed to detail such a plan.
Days before the SONA, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque teased the public with a pandemic recovery program that Duterte was supposed to unveil in his annual report.
But while Duterte discussed the COVID-19 crisis in his SONA, he did provide any new plan, prompting critics to claim that there was no recovery roadmap.
"Hindi totoo yan. Alam po natin na sa buong daigdig, ang ating panlaban ay testing, isolation, tracing at treatment kaya nga po pinapaigting natin," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
(That's not true. We know globally that our tools are testing, isolation, tracing, and treatment that's why we're improving these)
"Siguro po bingi sila pero nakita ko po iyon," Roque added.
(They must be deaf because I saw it.)
Roque cited the President's mention of tax cuts for corporations, the Bayanihan to Recover as One bill, and the chief executive's gratitude to his aides and frontliners as part of the COVID-19 response program.
Lawmakers and analysts have noted that instead of tackling the government's plan on how to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, the President used most of his SONA for rants against opposition Sen. Franklin Drilon, and for tirades against the Lopez family, who own shuttered broadcast network ABS-CBN.
The President even used his speech to call out telecommunication firms over their faulty services, propose the establishment of new departments, and spur talks of death penalty revival while the country grapples with the pandemic.
But Roque dismissed the criticism, saying it is expected from the opposition to find the SONA lacking in details over the government's pandemic response.
"Well, kaniya-kaniyang pananaw po iyan at siyempre galing sa oposisyon, wala naman silang mabuting makikita doon sa sinabi ni Presidente," Roque said.
(Everyone has their own opinion and because that's from the opposition, they won't find anything good with the President's report.)
The President, according to Roque, only provided "broad strokes" of the roadmap because Cabinet officials were supposed to discuss it in full during Tuesday's post-SONA forum that was marred by technical glitches. The forum was moved instead to Thursday.