VP Robredo supports lockdown extension; says aid, info on measures crucial


Posted at Apr 05 2020 10:03 AM | Updated as of Apr 05 2020 10:27 AM

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MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday she will support an extension of the enhanced community quarantine to contain the coronavirus outbreak, but stressed the need for government to make the people understand such measure and to fast track assistance.

President Rodrigo Duterte had placed Luzon under lockdown from March 17, and the government's inter-agency task force managing the pandemic said it has set criteria on deciding for a possible extension.

Robredo said it was "crucial" for the public to understand the extension, if government decides to do so.

"Sang-ayon ako dahil yung nakikita nating projections, makakabuti para i-flatten yung curve kung hahabaan pa ito. Pero crucial para mag-cooperate ang mga tao, crucial na naiintindihan nila kung bakit kailangan gawin," she told ANC.

"Kung hindi nila naiintindihan bakit kailangan gawin, yung resistance nandyan... Information at pag-asikaso ng pangangailangan nila ay napakahalaga."

Robredo thinks the national government's social amelioration program should be coursed through local governments for faster distribution.

"Maglagay na lang ng maraming safety nets para naiiwasan yung kinatatakutang korupsyon. Para sa'kin, yung transparency and accountability measures, i-enhance pero dapat itiwala sa local government units kasi ang vital dito, may mga kababayan tayo na nangangailangan, na may kakainan sila araw-araw," she said.

Robredo, meantime, said it is important for authorities to enforce maximum tolerance following Duterte's earlier order to shoot troublemakers dead if policemen's lives were on the line.

"Okay na maging istrikto sa enforcement, pero kailangan humane pa rin ang treatment sa tao," she said.

As of Saturday, the Vice President's Office has raised P46.2 million in aid to health workers and other frontliners, Robredo said.

"Kami kung ano yung pangangailangan, dun kami papasok," she said.

"It was really just to fill in a gap. Ang fundraising for the PPEs (personal protective equipment), yun yung sigaw ng health workers. Wala kaming target pero yung expectations namin ilang beses nang nalampasan," she added, disclosing that some 42,000 sets of PPEs have already been distributed by her office.

Robredo's office was also among the first to provide free transportation to health workers following the Luzon lockdown, which is set to run until April 14.

The OVP has shared with the transportation department some good tips in the shuttle service for frontline staff, based on its experience, Robredo said.

The Philippines has recorded 3,094 coronavirus cases, as of Saturday, including 144 fatalities and 57 recoveries.