“It’s clear to me that Filipinos are not stubborn, but are ready to help others. The Filipinos are not inutile but have the courage and intelligence to face any trials. The Filipinos are not losers. And I’m sure we will win the fight against this pandemic,” Vice President Leni Robredo said.
Boy Santos, file
Vice President’s roadmap: Pinoys not inutil, pasaway
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - July 30, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo presented yesterday her own roadmap to address the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic even as she kept faith in the Filipinos’ ability to overcome the crisis.

“It’s clear to me that Filipinos are not stubborn, but are ready to help others. The Filipinos are not inutile but have the courage and intelligence to face any trials. The Filipinos are not losers. And I’m sure we will win the fight against this pandemic,” she said.

The Duterte administation has been criticized for pinning the blame on the “pasaways” for the rapid spread of the virus in the country to justify its lapses as well as the deployment of security forces to impose quarantine protocols.

Robredo said the people’s suffering due to the pandemic would not be addressed by just waiting for a vaccine for COVID-19 to be discovered.

“The pandemic would not end by simply waiting for a vaccine. We need to stop the spread of this (virus) as soon as possible,” the Vice President said in a taped video posted on her official Facebook page yesterday afternoon.

Robredo stressed the fight against COVID-19 must start with correct data, which will become the basis of the government’s right decisions.

“From here, we can determine the areas that we need to prioritize in the mass testing, contact tracing and support for community hospitals,” Robredo said.

She also backed the proposed pooled testing for COVID-19 and called for the participation of universities and academic institutions in the validation process of the Department of Health (DOH).

Robredo cited the discrepancy in the number of people who tested positive and the number of confirmed cases reported by the DOH daily.

Of the more than 113,000 who tested positive, only over 80,000 are confirmed cases, she said.

“That means we need to catch up with the verification because many positive cases are yet to be added in the official data,” she said.

Robredo also called on Congress for the immediate passage of a stimulus package to help the economy recover from the pandemic.

Robredo was referring to the ARISE bill or Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy of the Philippines, which was passed by the House of Representatives last month.

She said the ARISE bill seeks to provide funds that support the Department of Labor and Employment’s TUPAD or Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Worker.

“It’s clear that ARISE will help those who are affected more. It is more inclusive, more pro-poor,” Robredo said.

She said the government’s push for the enactment of the CREATE Bill, which aims to encourage more foreign companies to invest in the country “is not enough.”

The Vice President also urged the government to provide incentives to companies that would provide assistance to people severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis and increase its support for the micro, small and medium enterprises or MSMEs.

Apart from assistance provided under the social amelioration program, Robredo said the government should also provide scholarships to children of COVID-19 victims.

She said many Filipinos would like to help in the fight against the coronavirus, citing the bulk of donations received by her office, and the number of people who volunteer their services in the delivery of services and food to frontliners.

Related video:

LENI ROBREDO
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