There will be no massive lockdowns under the administration of presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo, who on Wednesday, November 3, said that her plan will address hunger, unemployment, and the threat of a looming education crisis.
In less than five minutes, Robredo laid down a pandemic response plan that thumbs down lockdowns on her belief that these are not the solution to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis because they cause hunger and loss of jobs.
Clad in pink, Robredo addressed the nation through a recorded Facebook video titled “Kalayaan sa COVID Plan.”
“Kung may lockdown, may agarang ayuda. Itigil ang malawakang lockdown – dapat ang lockdown, targeted (If there is a lockdown, there will be cash aid. Stop extensive lockdowns — lockdowns should be targeted),” she said.
Similar to her previous calls, she wants financial support for small businesses in exchange for not laying off employees and unemployment insurance for workers who lost their jobs because of the pandemic.
Robredo also highlighted the need to mitigate the risk of food security problems, which was one of the reasons she tapped Senator Kiko Pangilinan, a known advocate for agriculture, as her running mate in 2022.
“Palakasin ang agrikultura. Gawing sapat ang suporta para mapalago ang kabuhayan ng mga mangingisda at magsasaka. Tiyakin na may pagkain ang bawat Pilipino (Strengthen agriculture. Support should be enough to expand the livelihood of our fisherfolk and farmers. Every Filipino should have food on the table),” she added.
The Vice President also focuses on education as students had to stop attending face-to-face classes for almost two school years now.
It is just recently that the government approved the pilot face-to-face classes in 100 educational institutions in the country. Robredo, on the other hand, initiated the Community Learning Hubs to help students who do not have access to computers and the internet.
Under her COVID-19 program, she wants to expand her learning hubs initiative to aid teachers and students.
“Sa mga low-risk area, buksan na ang mga eskuwela. Sa mga high-risk area, bigyan ng gadget at load ang bawat estudyante (In low-risk areas, open the schools. In high-risk areas, provide gadget and load to every student),” Robredo said.
It is high time that the Philippines implement a strategic plan on how to combat the pandemic to end the suffering of the people, she added.
“Kayang ipatupad ito gamit ang resources at makinarya ng pambansang gobyerno. Kailangan na nating tuluyang makalaya para tayo’y makahinga muli (These can all be implemented using the resources and machinery of the government. We need to free ourselves for us to thrive again),” Robredo stressed.
However, she also asked the public not to be complacent despite the drop in the number of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
“Kahit na bumaba ang cases, huwag tayong kampante. Para mas mapabilis ang ating tuluyang paglaya sa COVID, ang kailangan: Klaro, malawakan, strategic, at mapagpalayang tugon (Even if the cases have decreased, let’s not be complacent. So we can free ourselves faster from COVID, we need: clear, broad, and strategic response),” Robredo said.
The framework was made after consultations with experts and different sectors. It was also based on what she witnessed in the past 20 months.