MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday unveiled her COVID-19 response plan that could free Filipinos from strict lockdowns and lapses in the country's health care system, even as new infections continued to slow down.
Robredo, a presidential aspirant, said she is keen on bridging the gap in the country's public health management, strengthening the agricultural sector, addressing unemployment, and students' safe return to schools.
She also emphasized that government needs to get rid of corruption and anomalies in the country's pandemic strategy.
"Para mas mapabilis ang ating tuluyang paglaya sa COVID, ang kailangan, klaro, malawakan, strategic, at mapagpalayang tugon... Ang dapat gawin, itigil ang korapsyon. Tigil ang anomalya, mahusay at matinong pinuno sa tuktok ng COVID response strategy," Robredo said in her over 4-minute video clip.
(To fast track the country's freedom from COVID-19, we need a clear, wide, and strategic response. We should stop corruption, anomalies, and we need a strong leader at the top of the COVID response strategy)
She also campaigned for the need to take care of health workers, free teleconsultation, and an accessible health care system down to every barangay nationwide.
Unemployment insurance should also be present to help people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
"Dapat ang lockdown, targeted. Protektado ang trabaho, suportang pinansyal sa mga maliliit na negosyo para hindi kailangang mag-lay off. Unemployment insurance, para ang mawawalan ng trabaho, may tulong na makukuha sa gobyerno," Robredo explained.
(The lockdowns should be targeted. We should be protect jobs, and support the businesses financially so they don't need to lay off people. We need unemployment insurance so those who would lose jobs would get help from the government.)
She said schools in low-risk areas for COVID-19 should also be opened.
"Sa mga high-risk area, bigyan ng gadget at load ang bawat estudyante. Dagdagan ang community learning hubs kung saan ang titser at ang estudyante may access sa internet at gamit pang-edukasyon," she pointed out.
(In high-risk areas, students should be given a gadget and internet load. There should also be additional community learning hubs where teachers and students could access the internet)
Some of the things she is pushing for have already been part of her programs in the last 2 years, but some need to be enforced to help a larger number of Filipinos.
"Narating natin ang plano sa pagkokonsulta sa mga eksperto, mga sektor, at higit sa lahat, sa harapang pagsaksi sa dinadaanan ng Pilipino. Kayang ipatupad ito gamit ang resources, makinarya, ng pambansang gubyerno," she said.
(We arrived at these suggestions through consultation with experts, other sectors, and most especially as we witness the hardships of every Filipino. We can implement this through the government's resources)
Throughout the pandemic, Robredo has been active in initiating her own COVID-19 response efforts—from free swab tests and drive-through vaccinations to providing free shuttle services and accommodations to health care workers.
She also partnered with public and private organizations in her Angat Buhay program to support poor communities through provisions for food security and nutrition, universal health care, public education, rural development, housing and resettlement, and women empowerment.