VP’s proposals on COVID-19 response most welcome, but nothing new – Palace
MANILA, Philippines — While it welcomes Vice President Leni Robredo’s suggestions on how the government must address and combat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Malacañang on Thursday said there was nothing new and that all her suggestions have long been implemented.
Robredo earlier sent presidential spokesperson Harry Roque a list of suggestions on how to beef up the government’s response to the health crisis.
She said among those she brought up were the testing stranded individuals and revising the Department of Health’s “fresh” and “late” reporting of COVID-19 cases.
“Well, I’m about to send my response to her letter today. And my response is, all her suggestions, we’ve long implemented,” Roque said in an interview on CNN Philippines.
“My answer today would be, thank you very much, IATF [ Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases] has long recommended almost, well, in fact, all of your suggestions. There’s nothing new in her recommendations,” he added.
Roque noted Robredo’s suggestion of including the League of Cities of the Philippines in the IATF, but said it would make the task force’s meetings longer.
“We appreciate all her comments. We actually disseminated it to the line agencies. There was one important input that she had which was discussed extensively and that was to include the League of Cities as members of the IATF,” Roque said.
“The consensus was if we would allow the mayors to join us regularly, then we would be meeting 24 hours a day. So the resolution was, we will just institutionalize the fact that we use the local government officials as resource persons in IATF meetings,” he added.
Further, Roque said the administration “welcomes” all of Robredo’s contributions in the fight against the COVID-19.
Earlier, Roque invited Robredo to ask him about the government’s COVID-19 response, saying it is his duty after all.
This was after Robredo called for a more comprehensive report on how President Rodrigo Duterte’s special powers were used and asked where government funds were spent.
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