VP debunks competition on COVID-19 efforts: ‘Now is the time to be united’

Published April 7, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo has no intention to compete with the government when it comes to her office’s relief work in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

Vice President Leni Robredo  (Charlie Villegas, OVP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Vice President Leni Robredo
(Charlie Villegas, OVP / MANILA BULLETIN)

Robredo, who is a leader of the opposition, said it is a time for everyone to be united and set politics aside, because of the country’s “insurmountable” situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is not a time for us to keep score. This is not a time  for us to think that this is a competition. This is a time where not just government officials, but the government and the private sector should all work together,” she said in an interview with CNN Philippines. 

The vice president called her office’s efforts in response to the COVID-19 outbreak as a way to “fill in the gaps” in the ongoing assistance drive of the administration. “We step in every time we see a need. So I think they should not look at it, ‘I’m faster,’ ‘I have contributed more’. The private sector should step in wherever the government needs,” she said.

The Office of the Vice President and its partner-donors have collected P47.59 million to date for the purchase of protective gear for health workers and frontliners in combating the spread of the deadly disease. Of this amount, 53,325 personal protective equipment (PPE) sets have been distributed to 215 hospitals and communities across the country, while 54,729 are set to be delivered.

In partnership with the private sector, the OVP has also provided free shuttle service and dormitories, mostly in Metro Manila, for medical frontliners. “Most of the things that we’re giving away—is really borne out of the fundraising drive that we’ve instituted. And most of the donors are really private citizens,” Robredo noted.

 “And we know the government can only do so much, and the private sector is only too willing to help, so that’s what we have galvanized,” she said.