MANILA – Malacañang on Tuesday dared Vice President Leni Robredo to provide a “solution” to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic while a vaccine has yet to be made available worldwide.
“Hinahamon ko po si VP Leni, kung mayroon siyang solusyon na walang vaccine at wala pa ring gamot, sabihin po niya (I challenge VP Leni, if she has a solution that does not involve a vaccine or medicine, she should say so),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual Palace briefing.
He said Robredo could take over as President if she could put an end to the ongoing health crisis.
“Sigurado po baka ngayon din maging Presidente siya kung makahanap siya ng solusyon habang walang bakuna at walang gamot (I’m sure that she could be President if she could find a solution while there is no vaccine and medicine),” he added.
According to Roque, Robredo refused to accept that the national government is already making interventions to slowdown the spread of the infection and open up the economy to provide livelihood to those severely affected by coronavirus-related lockdowns.
He said Robredo and other members of the opposition seemed to be unaware of the government’s Covid-19 response efforts.
“Wala raw tayong ginagawa. Well, sila lang ‘ata ang hindi nakakaalam kung anong ginagawa ng gobyerno. Buksan po ang mga mata at buksan po ang mga pandinig (They say we’re not doing anything. Well, they’re the only ones who seem not to know what the government is doing. They should open their eyes and ears),” he said.
Roque said the government is currently in phase 2 of its National Action Plan against Covid-19 where the economy is slowly being revitalized while ensuring the health and safety of citizens.
He pointed out that efforts to enhance testing, tracing, isolating, and treating efforts are also being augmented amid localized lockdowns.
“Iyon po iyong plano (That’s the plan),” Roque said.
Despite government efforts to control the spread of the virus, Roque said the only real solution to Covid-19 is vaccine.
“Habang wala talagang bakuna, habang walang gamot, wala pa rin talagang solusyon sa pandemyang ito (While there is no vaccine, there is no medicine, the pandemic does not have a solution),” he said.
In a taped public address on Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out on Robredo for claiming that there is a lack in system and cohesive plan in the government’s Covid-19 response.
Duterte said the government is already doing its job, stressing that there was nothing left to do but to wait for a vaccine.
Robredo, in response, said it was not enough to wait for a vaccine which can take months or even years to be developed or for the government to put up more facilities for patients.
She said that there should also be a need to suppress the pandemic by means of medical and non-medical interventions; overcome humanitarian emergencies including poverty, hunger, unemployment, mental distress, etc., caused by the pandemic; reconstruct public and private finances in the wake of the pandemic; and rebuild the economy in an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable way. (PNA)