Former vice president Jejomar “Jojo” Binay on Tuesday (February 23) lauded the national government for making the “right decision” by not allowing to relax the quarantine restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR).
On February 22, Pres. Duterte rejected the proposal of relaxing the quarantine restrictions in NCR unless COVID-19 vaccination starts.
“The national leadership deserves to be recognized for making the right decision,” Binay said in a statement.
He stressed that the public’s health and welfare should always be the government’s primordial concern.
“If only the administration acted with the same focus, efficiency and resolve early last year, we would not be in the sordid situation we are in now,” he said.
According to Binay, the record-high hunger, poverty, and unemployment can be attributed to the administration’s “colossal failure to immediately contain the virus early last year.”
This, he said, is contrary to the claims of economic managers that easing restrictions would mitigate hunger, poverty, and unemployment.
The ideal scenario is for the government to relax quarantine restrictions alongside an infusion of economic relief and the mass vaccination of citizens, Binay said.
“Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Cambodia are among the countries that have started vaccinating their citizens. They may be poorer than us, but obviously they are more efficient and adept at handling the crisis and making the welfare of their people as a priority. Tayo, nganga pa rin,” the former vice president said.
Meanwhile, Binay slammed the administration for not being able to quickly provide COVID-19 vaccine to the citizenry.
“The handling – or mishandling – of vaccine procurement joins the long list of examples of poor management during this pandemic,” he said.
“Wala na ngang ayuda, wala pang bakuna. Kung ganito ang sitwasyon natin pagkaraan ng halos isang taon na lockdown, huwag na tayong magtaka kung bakit huling makakabangon ang ating ekonomya sa Southeast Asia (No assistance and no vaccine. If this will remain our situation after a year of the lockdown, let us not wonder why we are the last economy to bounce back in Southeast Asia),” Binay added.