The government is “doing everything” in the pandemic response but is prepared to listen to feedback on how to improve such efforts, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
Nograles said it was “unfair” to claim the government was ignoring evaluation and other inputs on how the government was dealing with the public health emergency.
The Palace official made the statement after Vice President Leni Robredo asked the government to acknowledge the lapses in its pandemic response and listen to suggestions on how to effectively enhance the health response.
Robredo also reminded the government to know the reality on the ground to better address the situation, as she suggested the need for increased testing, contact tracing, and assistance to families affected by the pandemic.
“Nakikinig naman kami. Nakikinig naman ang gobyerno at lahat ng dapat at kailangan gawin ay tinutugunan namin at binibigyan ng pansin (We are listening. The government is listening and we are doing everything that must be done, we are addressing what needs to be addressed),” Nograles said over ANC’s Headstart Monday, April 19.
“So I think it’s unfair to say the government is not listening. We are. We are doing everything,” he added when asked to comment on Robredo’s latest statement.
Nograles explained that the government has already established a “feedback mechanism,” citing the role of various government agencies as well as local government units in battling the pandemic.
“May feedback mechanism tayo diyan (We have a feedback mechanism). From that feedback, we also get inputs nila on how we can also improve ‘yung ginagawa nating pagtugon at pagresponse dito laban sa COVID-19 (on how to respond in the fight against COVID-19),’ he said.
Asked about any government innovation to enhance the pandemic response, Nograles cited the government’s efforts to ramp up testing to immediately detect, isolate, and treat people with coronavirus infection.
Apart from the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing, he said the government was also using rapid antigen test kits in areas with high coronavirus transmission. He said such method to diagnose coronavirus has already been approved by health authorities here and abroad as an effective tool.
The country is battling a resurgence of coronavirus cases in recent weeks that prompted authorities to tighten movement controls to slow down the transmission particularly in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces.
The country posted 10,098 new cases as of April 18, that pushed the total to 936,133. More than 15,000 people have died from the illness in the country since the pandemic erupted last year.