On the Vice President’s recent remarks

While the President has acknowledged the Vice President’s initiatives in the fight against coronavirus, Mrs. Robredo has made it a weekly media habit to nitpick the Executive’s COVID-19 response. It has become noticeable that her criticisms have become incessant and non-stop as the country approaches an election season. This is simply politicking.

Vice President Leni is correct when she said that “all eyes on the surge” and that we must focus our energies in helping (itutuon natin ang lakas natin sa pagtutulungan). This has been the action of the Duterte Administration to the pandemic. It has been a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach from the cash aid to vaccination to the re-opening of the economy.

There is close coordination among the departments and agencies of the national government, health and medical experts, local government units (LGUs) and other stakeholders like key private sector leaders not only when we harmonize policies on COVID-19 but also when we implement such policies on the ground. We do not say that we are right all the time as no State can claim that it is ready to the challenges this pandemic brings. After all, there is no handbook that deals with COVID-19 and this is why there are instances that we refine and update guidelines and protocols on the basis of hard data available that particular time.

Indeeed, there is a world health crisis and we in government should take the lead in finding ways and means to ameliorate the effects of the pandemic. We welcome constructive criticisms, as evidenced by the appeals of the LGUs’ on community quarantine classifications, but not remarks that devalue the efforts of the national government. We may not be on the same boat but we are all facing the same storm; thus, we have to work on the same goal of magbalik-buhay, magpabakuna.###

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