SONA written as if there‘s no pandemic – Robredo spokesman
MANILA, Philippines — The State of the Nation Address (SONA) that President Rodrigo Duterte delivered on Monday seemed to have been written before the COVID-19 pandemic with no effort made to even edit it.
Lawyer Barry Gutierrez, the spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo, made this observation shortly after the event, pointing out that the economic points the President mentioned seemed to be anchored on the assumption that the world was in a normal state.
“It’s as if this speech was written before COVID-19 turned our world upside down, & the writers just said ‘f*ck it, no changes’,” Gutierrez said in his Twitter account.
“Pre-lockdown economic projections, laws passed 2 years ago, and DRUGS AGAIN? That’s really what he’s giving us? Parang walang pandemic ah. #SOanoNA,” he added.
It's as if this speech was written before Covid-19 turned our world upside down, & the writers just said "f*ck it, no changes." Pre-lockdown economic projections, laws passed 2 years ago, and DRUGS AGAIN? That's really what he's giving us? Parang walang pandemic ah. #SOanoNA
— Barry Gutierrez (@barrygutierrez3) July 27, 2020
While Duterte mentioned several things about the government’s COVID-19 response — like the government shifting to paperless transactions to avoid surface transmission of the virus, and asking Chinese President Xi Jingping to prioritize the Philippines for coronavirus vaccines — several personalities believe the attention given to the pandemic was not enough.
Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman, an opposition lawmaker, said he was expecting to hear more concrete plans about the health crisis, but instead what he got were plans that had been mentioned even before the pandemic occurred.
“After expecting President Rodrigo Duterte to announce and discuss his administration’s roadmap in response to the ravages on our people and economy of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is completely frustrating that any masterplan was only mentioned peripherally,” Lagman said in a statement sent to reporters.
“The anticipated roadmap meandered into the roadside of trite generalities and an invocation that the people should ‘trust its government’ without telling them what actually the government’s plans are,” he added.
As of now, the Philippines still has one of the highest COVID-19 cases — total and active — in Southeast Asia despite being geographically separated from the Asian continent.
Earlier, the Department of Health reported 1,657 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths — bringing the totals to 82,040 cases and 1,945 deaths with still four days to go before July ends.
These numbers coincide with predictions made by the University of the Philippines (UP) COVID-19 response team, which said that there may be 85,000 cases and 2,000 deaths by the end of July.
Previously, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque was criticized for celebrating and congratulating the country for beating the UP prediction back in June, as the country back then only had around 38,000 cases while the study pegged 40,000 at the end of the month.
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