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Escudero’s appeal to gov’t: Admit lapses in COVID-19 pandemic response

/ 09:19 PM March 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero has urged the government to admit its shortcomings in managing the COVID-19 pandemic response because doing so may just be the first step in solving the myriad of problems now faced by the country.

Escudero pointed out in a Facebook post on Friday that the Philippines has surpassed the combined tally of COVID-19 cases in entire Southeast Asia on Thursday. Then today, March 26, the former senator said it got even worse with 9,838 new infections.

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He also noted that Asean countries are being affected by the same coronavirus variants of concern as well as beliefs of lockdown fatigue, but the neighboring nations appeared to be managing the global health crisis “far better” and that the Philippine government is not doing an “excellent” job.

“Yesterday, the Philippines exceeded the combined total number of new cases in the whole of Southeast Asia. Today was even worse. Faced with the same variants and lockdown fatigue, our neighbors in Southeast Asia must be doing something right that we are not,” Escudero wrote.

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“They are doing a far better and ‘excellent’ job than we are. The first step in solving a problem is admitting that we have one — a big one!” he added.

Yesterday, the Philippines exceeded the combined total number of new cases in the whole of Southeast Asia. Today was…

Posted by Chiz Escudero on Friday, March 26, 2021

Escudero further said there might not be a need for the government to reorganize agencies involved in the country’s COVID-19 response, but that a simple admission of fault may be enough to change the approach.

“We don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Let’s ask, watch, study, and learn from others so we can do a truly better job!” he also said.

Escudero was the latest government official who demanded that the national government admit its bad performance in the fight against COVID-19.

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Last Sunday, Vice President Leni Robredo asked President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration about how COVID-19 problems can be fixed if the government thinks it already has done an “excellent job.”

READ: Robredo tells gov’t: Don’t be too defensive in face of COVID-19 response flak

Both Robredo and Escudero did not drop names, but it appears to be a shot at presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

Roque claimed on March 8 that the Duterte administration is doing an excellent job at keeping the pandemic at bay until COVID-19 variants of concern caused quick surges in infections.

READ: Palace touts ‘excellent’ action vs COVID-19 as PH nears 365 days under community isolation

When the hashtag #DutertePalpak trended as a response to the country’s over one year of being under community quarantine, Roque said the variants of concern should be blamed for the spike in new cases as it was not due to the government’s incompetence.

READ: Palace maintains gov’t was doing ‘excellent job’ until recently when new cases spiked

READ: As #DutertePalpak trends, Palace claims COVID-19 surge not due to gov’t incompetence

The national government recently decided to put Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal under a so-called general community quarantine (GCQ) bubble to contain virus transmissions and prevent the disease from spilling over other provinces.

The Department of Health (DOH) reported Friday a new all-time daily-high of 9,838 additional COVID-19 infections, shooting up nationwide caseload to over 700,000, including at least 109,000 active cases.

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TAGS: COVID-19 mishandling, COVID-19 pandemic response, COVID-19 surge, excellent job, Governor Francis Escudero, new cases, Philippine news updates, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Sorsogon, Southeast Asia, variants of concern
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