Fix pandemic response instead of defending it — Robredo
MANILA, Philippines — The government should act and fix the country’s response against the Covid-19 pandemic instead of defending it, Vice President Leni Robredo said Sunday.
This was her response to the study by Australian think-tank Lowy Institute’s COVID Performance Index where the Philippines ranked 79th place out of 98 countries for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, putting it well behind its Asian neighbors.
“Sana iyong mga ganitong mga assessment, seryosohin. Instead na depensahan, tanggapin, hanapan ng solusyon. Kasi hanggang ngayon, kapag pinakinggan natin, dinedepensahan pa din,” Robredo said during her weekly radio show.
(I hope these kinds of assessments are taken seriously. We should accept it and find solutions instead of defending it.)
“Mahirap kasi kapag dinedepensahan, kasi ikaw kuntento ka na sa ginagawa mo eh. Kapag kuntento ka na sa ginagawa mo, hindi ka nag-iimprove,” she added.
(It’s difficult to defend because it means you are contented with what you’re doing. If you’re contented, you don’t improve.)
She hopes the government learns from better-performing countries to improve its pandemic response.
According to Lowy Institute’s COVID Performance Index, the Philippines ended up with an average score of 30.6, just behind Spain which had a score of 31.2, and Italy, which ranked 59th with a score of 40.4, two of the worst-hit European countries.
Lowy Institute said that the scores were based on how countries managed the pandemic which has altered normal life, by accumulating figures including confirmed cases, deaths, cases and deaths per million, confirmed cases in proportion to tests, and tests per thousands — that came in 36 weeks before January 9.
Within the Southeast Asian region, the Philippines only bested Indonesia, which ranked 85th, with a 24.7 score. However, the country was below Myanmar (24th, 62.3), Malaysia (16th, 71.0), Singapore (13th, 74.9), Thailand (4th, 84.2) and Vietnam (2nd, 90.8).
The government should also stop its propaganda, she added, and focus instead on fixing its pandemic response especially after the Philippine economy recorded a 9.5% drop in its gross domestic product in 2020.
She said the government should not use the pandemic as an excuse for the GDP drop since other countries have fared better despite also facing the pandemic.
“Sana instead na magdepensa tayo, tanggapin natin. Tanggapin para maaksyunan nang maayos. Nakita ko iyong mga response, parang defensive pa din tayo. Parang jina-justify pa din natin kung bakit mababa iyong response,” Robredo said.
(Instead of being defensive, let’s accept it. Let’s accept it. I saw the responses, we seem to be defensive, like we’re justifying why our response is ranked low.)
“Huwag na tayo sa propaganda. Iyong response dapat, tinutugunan kung paano mare-resolve nang mas maaga. Kasi mas matagal iyong ganito, mas marami tayong mga kababayan na maghihirap,” she added.
(Enough with the propaganda. The response should be addressed properly. Because many more people would suffer.)
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