Robredo vows to fill gaps in COVID response in first 100 days of presidency

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 09 2021 09:38 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo joins running mate Sen. Francis Pangilinan and former secretaries of health Dr. Manuel Dayrit and Dra, Esperanza Cabral during a press conference outlining their proposed COVID-19 plan at the Quezon City Reception Hall on November 8, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Vice President Leni Robredo joins running mate Sen. Francis Pangilinan and former secretaries of health Dr. Manuel Dayrit and Dra, Esperanza Cabral during a press conference outlining their proposed COVID-19 plan at the Quezon City Reception Hall on November 8, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Robredo says COVID-19 mitigation key to restore jobs, economy

MANILA - Presidential aspirant Leni Robredo on Tuesday vowed to fill the gaps in the country's COVID-19 response in her first 100 days in office if she becomes the next Philippine president, even as the pandemic lingers.

In a speech to the members of Rotary Club of Makati, Robredo said it is also important that elected leaders become accountable for the "sufferings and aspirations" of the Filipino people.

Robredo mentioned how some health frontliners died amid the lack of personal protective equipment last year, and touted her office's response to help students and workers affected by lockdowns. 

"Reaching out, listening, and imagining ourselves in the shoes of the people we wish to serve. If we open our hearts to them and dig deep, we will arrive at the central revelation of our interconnectedness: Ganito pala ang hinihiling sa atin upang mabuhay sa mundo," Robredo said. 

"If we are fortunate to be elected President, we will inherit huge challenges and it will take great effort to rise to the challenges. We will continue to focus—at least in the first 100 days—on addressing the challenges of the pandemic," she added. 

These includes, according to Robredo, controlling the community transmission and making the public engaged in "rebuilding our broken nation" so nobody gets left behind. 

This she said, is key in helping other aspects of the country recover, such as the economy and the labor sector. 

"Aayusin muna natin ang bahay natin at ang paraan ng pamamahala. Nasa pagtutulungan ang susi ng pag-abot sa mga kolektibo nating hangarin: Mula sa pagbangon ng ekonomiya, pagdami ng mga trabaho sa iba’t ibang industriya, at pagbubukas ng marami pang opportunities para umasenso at guminhawa ang bawat Pilipino."

(We will first fix our houses and the way it is being managed. Being united is key to reach our collective aspirations -- from reviving the economy, bringing back jobs, and opening more opportunities to every Filipino)

Last week, Robredo, who has since emphasized the need for officials to go on the ground to get in touch with Filipinos during crises, unveiled her COVID-19 response plan that could free the nation from strict lockdowns and lapses in the country's health care system.

Dubbed as "Kalayaan sa COVID" plan, the Vice President seeks to improve the country's public health management, strengthening the agricultural sector, addressing unemployment, and students' safe return to schools.

She also detailed her COVID-19 response plan that requires at least P500 billion for the payment of all government debts in hospitals and the establishment of a "modern network" for the distribution of cash aid. 

During her press conference, Robredo blamed the Philippines' "slow" COVID-19 pandemic response to the inaction of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, saying the country could have been in a different situation if the DOH did not hesitate in implementing early interventions before the outbreak of the virus.

Aside from this, she also emphasized that government needs to get rid of corruption and anomalies in the country's pandemic strategy. 

The Senate is conducting marathon hearings on the government's alleged mishandling of COVID-19 pandemic funds, as it supposedly gave billions worth of contracts to Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp, which had less than a million in paid up capital. 

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.

- With reports from Jamaine Punzalan and Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

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