Senators: Leaders talk sense, communicate clearly in times of crisis
MANILA, Philippines — Senators underscored on Wednesday the need for leaders who are focused and can “communicate clearly” especially in times of crisis.
The Philippines has already recorded at least 33 confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has already reportedly killed and infected thousands of people worldwide.
“We need a government and a leader who can serve assiduously and communicate clearly,” opposition Senator Leila de Lima, chairperson of the Senate committee on social justice, said in a statement.
“Let’s stop foolish bravado, nonsensical jokes and hysteria, and provide clear guidance and direction to contain the further spread of the virus and its grave impact to our lives and economy,” De Lima stressed.
She said the situation would just further worsen if a leader is not always in sight and does not think clearly.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, in a Twitter post, also made a similar remark about leaderships.
“Leaders stand out in crisis because they lead. They focus, not scatter. They motivate, not intimidate. They inspire because they talk sense,” Lacson said.
During times of crisis, De Lima also stressed the need for the government to ensure that access to reliable public utilities and vital services remain unhindered.
“All should have access to right information, healthy food, clean supply of water, among others, to enable us to survive the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic,” she said.
For Senator Risa Hontiveros, COVID-19 is a “daily risk for the working and commuting public.”
“Marami pa rin sa atin ang kailangan pumasok araw-araw (There are still many who need to go to work everyday). The working and commuting public need access to working lavatories in our train and transport stations,” Hontiveros said in a separate statement.
“For those na imposible ang sinasabing social distancing, kailangan natin i-minimize ang risk,” she added.
(We have to minimize the risk for those impossible to do what is called social distancing.)
Hontiveros then urged the Department of Transportation and the Department of Health to take necessary measures to minimize the risk of infection and protect the riding public.
For those in the frontlines of the transport sector, she said they should be given protective gear like face masks and hand sanitizers to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
“Public transport is a public health issue. We need to provide our commuters with clean, efficient, and safe public transport and public spaces. Otherwise, we are putting them at a higher risk to contract the virus,” the senator added.
Senator Imee Marcos, meanwhile, called for a bigger budget to modernize and expand the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa, the country’s main center for Covid-19 testing.
At present, Marcos said the RITM has five only sub-national centers that can perform COVID-19 testing: The Lung Center and San Lazaro Hospital in Metro Manila, Baguio City General Hospital, Vicente Sotto Medical Center in Cebu, and Southern Philippine Medical Center in Davao del Sur.
She also batted for the establishment of more centers, starting with the high-population areas of Regions 3 to 5.
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