By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday urged the Duterte administration to be careful about making decisions to prevent a repeat of the “backlash” caused by the controversial travel ban imposed on Taiwan.
Robredo, who is the leader of the opposition, said it was disappointing the government would proceed with such haste over a decision that needs thorough and careful study.
“Hindi naman natin sinasabi na kailangang tanggalin o hindi tanggalin pero pag-isipan ‘yung bawat desisyon para hindi mas malaki iyong backlash kaysa na-prevent natin,” Robredo said on her radio show, “BISErbisyong Leni.”
(We are not saying whether or not we need to lift the ban, but we should think about the decision thoroughly so we won’t receive a huge backlash rather than preventing it.)
The vice president further raised concerns over the reason that drove this decision to impose a ban on Taiwan as she made a call for the administration to spend more time to study this important matter.
“Iyong ibang bansa mas maraming cases, may namatay pa. Parang hindi fair, hindi lang sa Taiwan pati rin sa Pilipinong bumabyahe doon at may negosyo,” Robredo said.
(The other countries have more cases, some people even died. It seems not fair not only to Taiwan, but also to the Filipinos who travel and have business there.)
“Sana ganoon din iyong iba, pag-aralang mabuti (I hope in making the decision on other countries, it would be thoroughly studied),” she said, referring to Hong Kong and Macau.
The government has lifted the ban imposed on Taiwan in response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) based on the decision of the inter-agency task force, headed by the Department of Health (DOH).
The task force will likewise assess other areas, including Macau and Hong Kong for possible lifting of the ban, following the appeal of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to allow them to return to their jobs there.
Both Hong Kong and Macau are China’s special administrative regions, which have been covered by the ban to contain the spread of the deadly virus.