MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday rejected claims that she and the opposition wish the Duterte administration to fail in its response against the coronavirus pandemic.
In a video message posted on Facebook, Robredo said that despite the controversies and issues hounding government in its fight against the deadly virus, she still believes in its "good intentions" in addressing the health crisis.
"Naniniwala pa rin ako sa mabuting intensyon ng pamahalaan, kabilang na ng mga nasa matataas na katungkulan. Ngunit sa bigat ng ating kinakaharap, hindi sapat ang mabuting intensyon. Kailangan strategic at organized ang pagkilos," she said.
(I still believe in the good intentions of government, including those in its highest positions. But given the gravity of what we face, good intentions are not enough. We need strategic and organized action.)
"Dahil sa kabila ng mabuting mga intensyon, hindi maikakaila ang katotohanan: Maraming Pilipino ang patuloy na nagkakasakit."
(Because despite the good intentions, we cannot deny this truth: More Filipinos continue to get sick.)
Robredo, who has been accused of trying to brand the government's coronavirus response as a failure, emphasized that they only want to help the government, as the country continues to log thousands more of COVID-19 cases daily.
"Ayaw naming mabigo ang gobyerno, dahil kapag nabigo ang gobyerno, tayong mga Pilipino ang magdurusa, tayong mga Pilipino ang magkakasakit at mamamatay. Malaki ang problema, kaya dapat lahat tayo may puwedeng i-ambag. Hindi ito panahon para ipagdiinan ang hidwaang administrasyon o oposisyon. Sa panahong ito, ang mahalaga, Pilipino tayong lahat," she said.
(We do not want the government to fail, because if the government fails, it is us Filipinos who will suffer, us Filipinos who will fall ill and die. The problems we face are great, and this is precisely why we should all be able pitch in. This is not the time to harp on the divide between Administration or Opposition. What’s important, especially during this time, is that we are all Filipinos.)
ACTION WITHOUT VACCINE
Robredo reiterated the Philippines has the capability to suppress its coronavirus outbreak without a vaccine, citing a medical study that ranked countries' responses to the pandemic.
Based on the Lancet study, the Philippines ranked 66th out of 91 nations in effectively stopping the virus.
"Sa parehong pag-aaral, may labing-siyam na bansa na tinukoy kung saan “successfully suppressed” ang virus. Sampu sa top 19 na ito, nasa Asia Pacific Region. Ididiin ko: Nagtagumpay laban sa virus ang labingsiyam na bansa, kabilang na ang sampu sa ating mga kapitbahay, kahit wala pang gamot, at kahit wala pang bakuna," Robredo said.
(The same study identified 19 countries described as having 'successfully suppressed' the virus. Ten of these top 19 countries are in the Asia Pacific Region. Let me emphasize: 19 nations gained success against the virus, including ten of our neighbors, even without a cure, and even without a vaccine.)
"Ano ang mga hakbang na ginawa nila? Alin sa mga ito ang puwedeng iangkop sa konteksto natin dito sa Pilipinas? Ano pa ang ibang mabisang solusyon? Ano ang mga nagiging hadlang sa pagpapatupad nito?"
(What steps did they take? Which of these steps can be applied to the Philippine context? What other effective solutions exist? What’s stopping us from implementing them?)
The Vice President outlined recommendations on top of her previous suggestions, such as setting of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based (SMART) goals in coronavirus response; providing additional support to local government units; more aid for small businesses; help displaced and unemployed workers to find jobs; and preparations for mass distribution of vaccine once it's been developed and acquired by the country.
"Sang-ayon tayo na mahalaga ang bakuna—kaya nga hindi sapat na abangan lang ito. Ngayon pa lang, kailangan nang paghandaan kung paano isasagawa ang malawakang deployment kapag nadevelop na ito. Hindi birong tungkulin ang agarang pagbabakuna sa milyon-milyong Pilipino—kailangan ng plano, imprastruktura, at mekanismo, na hangga’t maaari ay maibaba sa antas ng mga barangay health unit," Robredo said.
(We agree that the vaccine is important—which is why it is not enough to simply wait for it. As early as now, we have to prepare for its massive deployment once it’s developed. Administering a vaccine to millions of Filipinos is no easy task—we need to have a plan, the infrastructure, and a mechanism, that as much as possible can be downloaded to the level of barangay health units.)
She earlier said President Rodrigo Duterte's plan to just wait for a coronavirus vaccine as a response to the pandemic "is not enough" after he stressed that only a vaccine can finally solve the health crisis.
As of Monday, a total of 307,288 coronavirus cases have been logged in the country. Of the total, 49,242 are active. Total recoveries are at 252,665, while the death toll is 5,381.