Be more open on COVID-19 plan, Lacson urges gov’t
MANILA, Philippines — A day after he decried the slow pace of the mass vaccination program, Sen. Panfilo Lacson urged the government to be open to criticism, some of which may even help the government deal with a new surge in coronavirus cases.
“Instead of rejecting constructive criticism, it should accept it as part of their planning and continuing assessment. Our aim is to call their attention to things they may not realize,” he said. “No one has a monopoly of wisdom and knowledge.”
The senator said the national debt has already reached P10.33 trillion, with an additional $900 million more in loans for the government’s COVID response.
“Now is the time for an evaluation, what the government did right and what it did wrong,” he said in a radio interview.
“They look perfect during demonstrations, but my worry is that the challenges that require practical application may not have been studied; so this really requires continuous study,” he said.
“If we allow years for the pandemic to pass because we failed to implement our plans, we might end up being a pariah. No one will come here and no one will receive our Filipinos abroad,” he said.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros agreed and chastised the government on Saturday for its “sluggish” response, which has been its hallmark from the start of the pandemic a year ago.
She also called out the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) over the “band-aid solutions” it had been implementing to address the spread of the virus.
“After one year, this is just plain sluggishness. The IATF has been moving at slow-mo pace against the fast spread of the virus, as if the death toll has not reached 12,694,” Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros aired her concern as new cases of COVID-19 infections hit a record high of 5,000, reportedly setting a record for 2021 for the second day in a row.
She lamented that the IATF’s response has been slow even after Congress had already given it all enabling policies and support it supposedly needs to address the pandemic.
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