Robredo’s COVID-19 response pitches not new? Let public judge it, spox says | Inquirer News

Robredo’s COVID-19 response pitches not new? Let public judge it, spox says

/ 06:18 PM July 20, 2020
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Atty. Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo. INQUIRER.net file photo / Noy Morcoso

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo’s office has publicly released her recommendations for the government’s COVID-19 response so that people can judge it, as Malacañang claimed these suggestions were not new.

In a message to reporters on Monday morning, Robredo’s spokesperson Atty. Barry Gutierrez attached Robredo’s eight-page letter addressed to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque last June 30 — which the latter said was most welcome but did not contain something new.

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Roque said last Thursday that all of the suggestions given by the Office of the Vice President (OVP) have long been implemented.

But in a letter received by Roque’s office, last July 1 showed that some of Robredo’s suggestions have not been implemented, like her pitch to allow jeepneys to resume operations as the livelihood of drivers has been severely affected.

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Robredo also urged the government to continue its weekly report despite the expiration of Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, and focus on what transpired for the previous week, what will be the goal for the coming days, and an update on COVID-19 response and programs.

Despite these, President Rodrigo Duterte’s last talk to the people did not display such suggestions and instead focused on some key issues like the education sector and the COVID-19 prediction.

“In view of the comments from the Palace regarding VP Leni’s suggestions on how to further improve the overall response to the COVID-19 crisis, we are releasing in full the text of the said letter, sent on July 1, 2020, and addressed to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque,” Gutierrez said in a statement.

“Let the public judge the substance and timeliness of these suggestions, which were crafted with the assistance of and upon consultation with multiple policy experts, members of the academe, and medical professionals,” he added.

The Vice President also called on the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to include “data scientists, health experts, economists, and representatives” from local government units.

While IATF had researchers and professors from University of the Philippines during Duterte’s last briefing, they were invited as guests and not as official IATF members.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the OVP said Robredo’s initiatives done with theOVP’s partners in the private sector are being hailed for being resourceful and addressing the pressing needs.

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When the outbreak started in Metro Manila, OVP mounted various programs, from donation drives to purchase personal protective equipment, tapping local tailors to do PPEs, offering shuttle services and dormitories for frontliners, and delivering hot meals for health workers.

The same response is being generated in Cebu City recently after the area experienced a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases.

This is not the first time that Malacañang and OVP had a series of exchanges during the pandemic.  Previously, Roque also called out Robredo to suggest and help the government instead of criticizing its response, being a pessimist, and looking at the glass half-empty.

Robredo however, clapped back, reminding Roque that they have been filling the gaps in the “half-empty” COVID-19 response.

JPV

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TAGS: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, Barry Gutierrez, Coronavirus, COVID-19, COVID-19 response, GCQ, general community quarantine, Leni Robredo, lockdown, Malacañang, nCoV update, Office of the Vice President, OVP, Philippine news updates, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque
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