Two days after President Duterte remarked that the opposition has not done anything for the country’s coronavirus response, Vice President Leni Robredo posted a report about her office’s programs and projects since the pandemic started last year.
In a Facebook post Sunday night, Robredo expressed pride in “each and every member of our official family” as she posted about a an update of what they have been doing in the ongoing fight against the pandemic.
“Since the start of the pandemic in March last year, the Office of the Vice President has been focusing most of our efforts in doing our part in responding to the greatest crisis of our time,” she said.
The vice president also used the opportunity to thank her office’s private partners, donors, and volunteers “without whom all our programs would never have seen light.”
Despite the OVP being “a small office with a limited mandate and budget,” she maintained that the “generosity of spirit” of their volunteers, donors, and partners “made it possible for us to do all these for our people.”
Last week, Duterte criticized the opposition, which Robredo has been leading, for being more concerned about the country’s territorial disputes with China in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) while not helping with the country’s pandemic response.
“Instead of saying how we could have more funds for assistance or how to get more beds because (cases) might go out of control, spreading a wildfire, they don’t do that,” he said.
“They look for (an) issue about the sea. So, you people of the Republic of the Philippines, study this carefully. These are the people who do nothing but complain,” Duterte added.
But Robredo has made headlines in the past for her efforts amid the pandemic. She has been on the ground, working to ensure that Filipinos have access to basic health care needs at the least.
In her Sunday radio show, the opposition leader said she does not need to defend herself because her work can speak for itself.
The report shared about the programs and projects under her care, most notably the free teleconsultation service called Bayanihan E-Konsulta and the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), food and care packages, medical supplies, COVID-19 testing kits, shuttle services, dormitories, and temporary shelters for frontliners during the height of the pandemic last year.
The COVID-19 Response Updates, as the report was called, also talked about the Swab Cab free mobile antigen testing, relief assistance to communities, Community Learning Hubs, Community Mart, Bayanihanapbuhay, Bayanihan Eskwela instructional videos for teachers and parents, and the assistance to locally stranded individuals (LSIs) and sectors whose livelihoods were impacted by the pandemic.
Robredo said they were able to fill in the gaps in the government’s COVID-19 response because her staff “already knew what we needed to do and that resulted in programs that are responsive and a workforce that is quick, agile, flexible and nimble.”
This is a result of their work throughout the years at the OVP, where “we gave most of our staff the opportunity to get their hands dirty and be with the people in the communities we have sworn to serve.”