Makabayan bloc: Gov't 'excellent' in mismanaging COVID-19 pandemic

Published April 27, 2021, 12:25 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Progressive lawmakers on Tuesday, April 27, slammed anew the Duterte administration for its supposed mismanagement of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the Philippines, with cases breaching the one million mark.

President Duterte (left) speaks to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (right) during a meeting in Malacañang. (PCOO/ MANILA BULLETIN File photo)

House deputy minority leader and Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate said that the more than one million total COVID-19 cases recorded Monday, April 26, “is [a] clear evidence of the Duterte administration’s gross negligence in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, including its inadequate, inefficient and failed solutions.”

“Mahigit isang taon na nating nilalabanan ang pandemya, mahigit isang milyong na din ang nagka-COVID, patuloy pa itong tumataas pero palpak pa din ang mga solusyon ng administrasyong Duterte (We have been fighting this pandemic for over a year, and over one million have been infected with COVID-19, and counting, because the Duterte administration’s failing solutions),” he said in a statement.

“Excellent work in mismanaging the pandemic,” Zarate told the government.

ACT Teachers Representative France Castro, in a separate statement, said the COVID-19 cases could have been prevented had the government been proactive in its pandemic response.

“If only the Duterte administration was more proactive, listened to medical experts and prioritized medical solutions over militaristic lockdowns, it could have prevented one million cases of COVID and thousands of deaths, it could have prevented the ballooning unemployment rate and worsening poverty of Filipinos,” Castro lamented.

The Kabataan Party-list, led by Rep. Sarah Elago, echoed the statement.

“Naiwasan sana ang ganitong resulta sa simula pa lang: sa pagpapatupad ng travel ban, sa pag-implement ng maayos na mass testing, contact tracing at treatment program (This outcome have been prevented in the beginning: In imposing travel bans, implementing a proper mass testing, contact tracing and treatment program),” the party-list said.

The Makabayan lawmakers appealed anew for “free mass testing and pro-active and aggressive contact tracing” to address the surge of COVID-19 cases, as well as the expedited rollout of the vaccination program.

They also asked for the immediate release of the long-overdue benefits and compensation of health care workers.

The progressive lawmakers also reiterated their call for the passage of the bill that would grant a P10,000 cash aid for low-income household affected by the pandemic.

On Monday, April 26, the Department of Health recorded a total of 1,006,428 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of the number, 914,952 have recovered, while deaths have increased to 16,853.