Sen. Cynthia Villar clarified on Sunday that she is not belittling the sacrifices of the country’s health workers battling the COVID-19 crisis, saying she is merely stressing the need for the government and all sectors of the community to unite and improve the strategies in fighting the pandemic.
Villar issued the statement a day after earning flak for thumbing down health frontliners’ call for Metro Manila to revert back to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to slow down the cases of COVID-19 and saying that the people just has to “live with COVID-19.”
The senator said her statements were not aimed at medical frontliners but only to reiterate the need for government leaders on the need to work harder to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the economy, the health sector, and the people.
“We have to work harder and better, but I am not referring in particular to the medical workers — our frontliners,” Villar said. “We are referring to all of us and DoH (Department of Health) and Philhealth in particular. There is so much room for improvement in the government’s response to curb the transmission of the disease,” she added.
“Alam ko po ang sakripisyong ginagawa ng ating mga health frontliners. Buhay nila ang nakataya sa ginagawa nilang pag-aalaga sa ating mga kababayan na nagkaroon (I know full well the sacrifices given by our health frontliners. They stake their lives in caring for our people who got infected by COVID),” Villar said.
Villar said she hopes that the passage of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or “Bayanihan 2” will greatly contribute to the government’s COVID-19 response efforts and also ease the burden of the country’s medical frontliners.
“We, in Congress, have just passed the Bayanihan Package 2, after intense debates, to provide health and financial support to the people,” Villar said.
“The government’s economic team will have to work harder to raise the money to fund the package; the Task Force and the LGUs (local government units) will have to work harder in trying to trace and manage movements of people and businesses to prevent more infections, and at the same time, be mindful of the people’s desire to earn a living,” she added.
Villar called on every individual to follow the health protocols imposed by the health experts.
“We all want to be safe and COVID-free. All of us are doing a difficult balancing act to keep people safe and alive. We all need to keep our jobs, the economy, to do our respective roles to sustain this. All of us have to work harder and better.”
The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) had earlier suggested putting Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, and Mimaropa back to ECQ for two weeks to avoid losing the battle against COVID as the number of positive cases increased over the last few weeks.
Villar thumbed down the proposal, saying reverting back to a lockdown will have an adverse impact on the country’s economy and affect the livelihood of many Filipinos who have reopened their businesses.