By Ellson Quismorio
“Put forward solutions, not just criticisms.”
Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur 1st district Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. gave this advice to his fellow politicians Thursday after the Duterte administration received flak for being unprepared in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If you have bright ideas, come forward with them. We should give constructive criticism, huwag yung puro banat (don’t be always on the attack). That doesn’t help in this current situation. Instead, tell us what can be done,” Pichay said in an interview.
As far as the Mindanaoan is concerned, the Philippines is still in the thick of the fight to control the spread of COVID-19, the acute respiratory disease that currently has no vaccine or clinically proven treatment.
On Thursday, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson slammed the government’s “lack of foresight” which according to him led to delays in the delivery of aid as spelled out in Republic Act (RA) 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
It’s been over a week since Congress passed the measure in a special session.
No country was ready
Responding to Lacson’s criticism, Pichay said, “Name me one country that was prepared to handle this pandemic. Wala, di ba (None, right)? Now here comes a senator saying we were not prepared.”
He said even the most powerful country in the world, the United States, is being brought down to its knees by the new virus.
“I think there will be more deaths in the US than China, where COVID-19 originated. That’s what the experts are saying,” he noted.
Even developed countries in Europe like Italy and Spain have had a difficult time coping with the pandemic, resulting to thousands of deaths among their citizens, Pichay said.
“I can say that we are handling the situation better than them,” he stressed.
The Deputy Speaker gave further perspective on how far-reaching the COVID-19 problem is. “This is a very non-partisan enemy. It transcends political barriers and social classes. Kaya magtulungan tayo (That’s why we should help each other).”