MANILA – There is “nothing new” in the recommendations of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo to boost the government’s fight against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Malacañang said on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Robredo’s suggestions have already been done by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID), the body tasked to address the Covid-19 pandemic.
“All her suggestions, we’ve long implemented [those]… IATF has long recommended almost, well in fact, all of your suggestions. There’s nothing new in her recommendations,” Roque said in an interview with CNN Philippines’ “The Source.”
Roque made the statement, as he confirmed that Malacañang had received a letter from Robredo, which contained several proposals on how the government can step up its efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
The letter was sent after Robredo slammed the government in June for its supposed shortcomings in addressing the Covid-19 crisis.
In a virtual press briefing aired on state-run PTV-4, Roque said the Palace remains thankful that Robredo is willing to help President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration by giving some suggestions.
“Natanggap po namin ang sulat ni Vice President Leni Robredo tungkol sa Covid-19 response ng pamahalaan. Nagpapasalamat po kami sa mga rekomendasyon ni VP (We already received Vice President’s letter concerning the government’s Covid-19 response. We are thankful for the Vice President’s recommendations),” Roque said.
Roque noted that Robredo has asked the Duterte government to keep the public informed about the country’s fight against Covid-19, ensure proper utilization of budget earmarked to address the pandemic, address transport issues, restart the economy, and allow education to continue.
He said the Palace would send its response to Robredo’s recommendations within this week.
He made the remarks, as he acknowledged the importance of close coordination with Robredo to defeat Covid-19.
“Bagama’t ini-implement na nga po ang halos lahat po ng rekomendasyon niya ay importante rin po na makipag-communicate pa rin tayo sa Pangalawang Pangulo ng bansa (While we are already implementing most of the recommendations made by the Vice President, it is still important to communicate with her),” Roque said.
Roque reiterated that the government appreciates Robredo’s efforts to help the government combat Covid-19.
He also maintained that Duterte is open to receiving assistance from everyone, including his critics, to ensure the successful fight against Covid-19.
“We’ve welcomed all her contributions,” Roque said. “She can do whatever she has been doing and it is very much appreciated.” (PNA)