By Hannah Torregoza
Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon on Monday urged the Department of Health (DOH) to be transparent in the manner of its reporting of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Drilon made the call after the DOH said it would now also report the breakdown of new cases being reported for the day, both the number of newly validated cases and those that were delayed.
The DOH made the move a day after it reported the highest single day jump to 539 cases and as the National Capital Region (NCR) eases into general community quarantine or GCQ.
“We demand full transparency. With the DOH changing the manner of reporting the data after more than two months, we cannot help but suspect that it is hiding something,” Drilon said.
“Honesty is the best policy here. Manipulating the data will not bring us anywhere,” the minority leader added.
Drilon said the government should look into other country’s experience on the coronavirus disease, particularly South Korea, which dealt with the pandemic in a transparent manner.
“The experiences all over the world show that a great deal of transparency spells a huge difference in winning the battle against this pandemic,” he said.
“Take a look at South Korea and China, and how transparency plays an important role in containing the virus. South Korea has showed transparency since day one,” Drilon pointed out.
“They did not hide the real data from their people. They dealt with the pandemic with complete transparency and because of this, coupled with the government’s decisiveness, they are able to contain the virus,” he said.
In contrast, China, he said, tried to downplay and hide the most important details about the number of COVID-19 cases in Wuhan, where the pandemic started.
“It cannot be denied that the China experience has shown that the lack of transparency could be fatal,” Drilon said.
The DOH, on Sunday, recorded 862 more cases of COVID -19 bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 18,086.