IATF failed to check COVID-19, says Drilon; Duterte’s SONA must give overall plan

Published July 22, 2020, 3:05 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon said on Wednesday he believes that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has failed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Franklin Drilon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Yes, we call a spade a spade. Look at where we are today: 70,000 cases, increasing everyday. The prediction is it will be over 80,000 this month,” Drilon said in an interview over ANC Headstart.

Since President Duterte has repeatedly stood by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Drilon said he wonders what the government’s plan is to address the current health crisis.

“Rather than go into personalities, I would rather like to hear the comprehensive plan of the President. The matter of being in the IATF is a matter of confidence of the President,” Drilon said.

“For example on the economic side, how much do we need to stimulate the economy? Where do we source these funds? Which side of the equation we stimulate? Where do we source the funds? Do we source it from taxes or borrowings?” the minority leader pointed out.

“To my mind, all these policy issues should be addressed by the President, because the IATF failed to address them,” he stressed.

Drilon said he hopes that in the upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA), he would hear the President lay out a comprehensive plan on how to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Unfortunately, the only solution that we see today is the continuous and repeated lockdowns. A lockdown, to my understanding, is to give us time to plan and implement things,” he said.

“That’s an end by itself, because…you kill the economy and you kill people because of hunger,” he lamented.

“I would personally like to hear comprehensive plans on the part of the administration how we address this. Let’s call a spade a spade. Secretary Duque lacks credibility to be able to command people to do things. He cannot influence decisions,” he reiterated.