Check pandemic response reports vs actual situation, Robredo urges gov't
Vice President Leni Robredo leads the graduation ceremony of the five-day basic motorcycle preventative maintenance training in Kamuning, Quezon City on February 3, 2021.
Release/Office of the Vice President

Check pandemic response reports vs actual situation, Robredo urges gov't

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - April 18, 2021 - 1:41pm

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo urged the Duterte administration to take on a more hands-on approach in its pandemic response a day after the health department tallied yet another record-high in active cases of the pathogen. 

Speaking on her weekly radio show, the vice president criticized what she said was a perceived disconnect between government statements on its pandemic response and the actual situation on the ground. 

"It's hard if you just rely on reports because they obviously put the good news first. But it's different if you're actually part of the day-to-day operations. It shows if they're not hands-on," Robredo said in mixed Filipino and English. 

"Perhaps they don't realize that the realities on the ground are different. If only the government was more aware of the situation on the ground so they can respond better."

This comes after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque claimed that anyone who needed help could easily receive medical attention in the country — a claim Robredo pointed out. 

Hybrid registration?

To recall, Roque made the claim as he dodged questions over his quick access to a room at the Philippine General Hospital, calling questions from reporters "un-Christian." 

"It might be that reports [government] gets are also not accurate. If anyone's saying there aren't too many problems, they might not be aware about the everyday struggles of our patients and doctors and healthcare workers. It's really pitiful," Robredo said. 

For instance, the vice president said, local governments could look into house-to-house registration for COVID-19 vaccination, as many Filipinos do not have adequate access to the internet amid the quarantine. 

"Many LGUs do their registration online, but the problem with that is many of our people aren't able to do that," she said. "They can do hybrid registration...right now, many are still scared of getting vaccinated."

RELATED: Asked about quick access to hospital care, Roque incorrectly claims all can get medical assistance

Robredo added that the Department of Health should have a list of names for vaccine beneficiaries rather than just a general list of priority sectors. 

"If they don't have a list of names, the prioritization won't be followed. It's already a practice for people to get vaccines from connections or to cut in the line. It would be better if our system was foolproof," she said. 

Over the year-long quarantine in the country, the vice president has pointed out on more than one occasion that administration officials seem averse to any kind of criticism and tend to respond to these defensively. 

No acknowledgment of mistakes made

Robredo on her radio show also scorned the Duterte administration for what she said was its repetitive response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We sound like a broken record...the first step should be accepting that we made mistakes. That's why this is happening, that's why it's been so long, because there's no acknowledgment," Robredo, who remains on home quarantine after exposure to a COVID-19 case, also said. 

"They should have dramatically increased testing when we went on lockdown. But again, it shouldn't just be testing. For example, the addition of beds in hospitals was done, but it wasn't that fast or plenty," she also said. 

Health officials recorded 11,101 additional COVID-19 infections Saturday afternoon, bringing the national caseload to 926,052.

The 203,710 active cases also set a record high for the second day in a row in the Philippines, which has been on lockdown for 397 days—the longest quarantine in the world.

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