Gov't won't lie about vaccination data, Duterte assures

Published May 6, 2021, 11:42 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government would never lie about the data about the country’s coronavirus situation, including pace of the vaccination drive, President Duterte said Wednesday.

Government frontliners receive Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines at the vaccination hub in Taguig City on May 04, 2021 (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

According to the President, the government will not cover up the truth about the country’s statistics since falsifying information carries a heavy penalty.

The President made the assurance to the public while reading a list showing the Philippines ranked third in the rollout of vaccines among 10 Southeast Asian neighbors.

Indonesia topped the list with over 20 million doses administered, followed by Singapore with 2.2 million and the Philippines with 2 million. The “Vaccination Rollout in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations),” presented by vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. during the meeting with the President and other government officials, was “based on Bloomberg and reports from Foreign Service Posts” as of May 5.

“You would notice that the Philippines is third. Ito vaccination rollout ASEAN based on Bloomberg and reports from Foreign Service posts as of May 2021,” Duterte said in a televised address Wednesday, May 5.

“Maniwala kayo kasi nasa gobyerno kami. Hindi kami puwedeng maglagay diyan, mag-post ng ganito na sinungaling. May parusa ‘yan. Malaking parusa ‘yan (Believe it because we are in government. We won’t put, post lies there. There’s a penalty, a huge penalty) if we impose a lie to the people in connection with our work,” he added.

Galvez, in presenting the vaccination report to the President, claimed that there were a lot of groups creating “fake data.” He alleged that these people manipulated the data and placed the country at the bottom of the list.

“So ibig sabihin parang talagang ano talagang sinisira po ‘yong ano iyong ating talagang mga diskarte para at least makita ng tao na tayo kulelat po tayo. Marami pong ganoon po na ano na mga talagang mga fake news po (So it means that our efforts are being discredited so people can see we are the last. There are many fake news),” the retired military general told the President.

In the list shown by Galvez, the Philippines has administered 2,065,235 doses of coronavirus vaccines since March. Its daily rate of doses administered reached 133,114.

The country has so far received more than 4 million doses of coronavirus, mostly coming from China, the COVAX facility, and Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute.

After the Philippines, Cambodia placed fourth on the vaccine rollout list with 1.9 million doses administered, followed by Myanmar with 1.8 million, Malaysia with 1.5 million, Thailand with 1.4 million, Vietnam with 539,062, and Laos with 210,748. Brunei ranked last with 12,947 doses administered.

The government presented the list of the vaccination rollout based on doses administered, not on the population size of the country.

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) earlier directed state media agencies to report that the country was “faring better than many other countries” in addressing the pandemic. The memo, which ordered regular updates on world data about COVID-19 cases, was reportedly issued upon the order of the President.

Recently, the President said the country was “doing good” the battle against the pandemic, crediting Health Secretary Francisco Duque III as the “hero” in this effort.