Robredo says pandemic response must be next President's main focus

Published December 3, 2021, 4:07 PM

by Betheena Unite

Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo believes the government lacks focus in its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response, saying the country’s economy could have been reopened much sooner if the administration had done its homework from the outset.

Vice President Leni Robredo in Malolos, Bulacan. (Photo from OVP)

Speaking in a radio program in Iloilo, Friday, Dec. 3, Robredo stressed that the lack of focus and convergence among public agencies resulted to “disoriented implementation” of policies.

“Ako iyong number one kasing tingin kong kulang talaga dito, iyong tutok. Iyong tutok at saka iyong convergence ng maraming mga agencies (Number one, I think it’s the lack of focus. The focus and the lack of convergence of many agencies),” the Vice President said.

“Kasi kapag tiningnan mo iyong agencies ngayon, ang dami namang ginagawa. Pero tingin ko, kulang kasi iyong tumututok na ma-coordinate iyong lahat kaya minsan mayroon tayong pakiramdam na parang sabog iyong implementation (Because when you look at the agencies, they are doing a lot of things. But I think, it lacks people who are designated to focus and coordinate every thing. This is why sometimes, we feel like the implementation is disoriented),” she added.

The presidential candidate also said that the lack in sense of urgency is also one to blame why the country has yet to move on from the pandemic.

“Dapat sana kung natutukan natin ito from the very start, matagal na tayong naka-reopen ng economy (Had we focused on this from the very start, we could’ve reopened the economy sooner),” Robredo said.

The opposition leader also stressed that the Philippines ranking low in COVID-19 resiliency is not an “intrigue,” saying that despite the country’s loans for the pandemic response, it has yet to recover.

“Kaya makikita mo ito, hindi siya intriga, pero makikita natin na maraming international assessment na despite the fact na ang dami nating inutang for COVID response, tayo iyong laging pinaka-last na magre-recover (We can see it, this is not an intrigue, in many international assessment that despite the many loans for COVID response, we are the last to recover),” she said.

Robredo cited the recent Bloomberg Resilience Ranking where the country remains at the bottom of a list of 53 countries, with a 43.1 resilience score.

She further said that “everyone is hinged on how successful we are in controlling the pandemic and mitigate its effects,” stressing that “whoever is the next president, the pandemic response must be the focus.”

“Kasi parang hindi tayo makaka-move on hanggang ganito pa rin iyong sitwasyon natin (Because it looks like we can never move on if the situation continues),” she added.