VP suggests online portal for COVID-19 response

The government’s inter-agency task force should come up with a single online portal for its coronavirus response to ensure the needs of affected Filipinos are addressed in this time of pandemic, Vice President Leni Robredo said.

Vice President Leni Robredo
(Photo by Charlie Villegas / OVP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Robredo said this is one of her suggestions that has not yet been implemented by the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19.

She sent an eight-page letter dated June 30 to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque about her list of suggestions on how to beef up the IATF response to the health crisis.

“Ang claim naman ng pamahalaan ang dami niyang program. So ito, sana ilagay lang iyong status...kasi iyong tao din, para hindi siya naghihintay sa wala (The government’s claim it has so many programs. So I hope they will put its status in order that people are not waiting for nothing),” she said.

Robredo said among those she brought up to Roque were discrepancy on the COVID-19 data, procurement of testing kits, hiring of contract tracers, status of programs, and transportation concerns.

Also included were Department of Health’s (DoH) reporting of COVID-19 cases, handling of locally stranded individuals, and the adoption of service contracting system for affected jeepney drivers.

Robredo made public the content of her letter to Roque to dispute his claim the IATF has long implemented her suggestions.

“What is the total budget devoted to buying testing kits? How much is each testing kits procured, and who are the suppliers? If they are already doing what I’ve suggested, these should be found on their website, but there is none,” she said.

The Vice President said her decision to publicize her recommendations was borne out of her desire to tell the truth about the government’s COVID-19 response.

“In fact, private iyong letter ko kay Secretary Roque pero kapag sinabi niyang ginagawa na nila, palagay ko kailangan kong i-make public para sabihin na hindi totoo na ginagawa na (In fact, my letter to Secretary Roque is private. But if he said they are already implementing it, I think I need to make it public to tell the truth),” she said.

Robredo pointed out she acted on “good faith” on giving her suggestions to help the IATF in the fight against COVID-19.