Lawmakers slam PH COVID-19 response as ‘inept, incompetent’
The Duterte administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is “criminally inept, incompetent and an agony” for the Filipino people.
Progressive lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Friday gave this scathing assessment, more than a year into the pandemic that restricted movement and economic growth.
In an online press briefing, the Makabayan bloc criticized the government for “still mainly relying on donated vaccines despite the billions of pesos already borrowed for the inoculation program.”
“Ordinary Filipinos then cannot be blamed for judging the Duterte administration’s pandemic response as criminally inept, incompetent and an agony for the people,” they said.
In a joint statement, the lawmakers pointed out issues in the ongoing “problematic” vaccination of health-care workers, a first step toward the government’s goal of inoculating 70 million Filipinos.
They said the Philippines currently has 1.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines donated by Sinovac Biotech and AstraZeneca through the global procurement pool COVAX.
Another 900,000 AstraZeneva and 1.4 million Sinovac doses will arrive until April.
The lawmakers pointed out that only 215,997 health-care workers have been vaccinated so far, or below the Department of Health’s target to inoculate 1.7 million health-care workers by March.
“After the 1.7 million health workers, the 9.7 million senior citizens would be next in line for the COVID-19 vaccines. But at the rate we are going now, as one senator said, it may take 33 years before we finish inoculating 70 million Filipinos for us to attain herd immunity,” they said.
The progressive lawmakers also criticized the “decentralized” vaccination program in which the responsibility from procurement to implementation was passed on to local governments.
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