Palace blasts Isko: Call to buy more medicine than face shield meant to court voters
MANILA, Philippines — Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno’s latest call to the government to buy more medicines instead of allocating the funds for the purchase of face shields is only an attempt to “court voters” as the local chief executive is seen gearing toward running in next year’s elections.
“Kandidato rin ‘yan. Mark my word, hindi pa nag-aanunsyo ‘yan, pero sigurado akong kandidato,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.
(He will run. Mark my word, he hasn’t announced yet but I’m sure that he will run as a candidate.)
“Kaya asahan natin ‘yung ganitong salita dahil kinakailangan nilang ligawan ang mamamayan,” he added.
(So let’s expect that these kinds of pronouncements are made to court voters.)
Moreno has called on the national government to procure more experimental drugs for COVID-19 such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, along with other medical supplies such as ventilators because it is more needed than face shields.
“Ako payo ko talaga sa kanila, huwag face shield ang bilhin ninyo. Tocilizumab ang bilhin ninyo. Remdesivir ang bilhin ninyo. Oxygen, makina sa ospital ang bilhin ninyo. ‘Yun ang kailangan ng tao kung talagang mahal natin ang tao, sabi ninyo,’ he said.
Remdesivir is an antiviral medication that targets a range of viruses and reportedly could accelerate the recovery of hospitalized COVID-infected patients.
Meanwhile, Tocilizumab has been recommended by the World Health Organization as part of the COVID-19 management protocol.
The Manila city mayor had proposed to drop the mandatory face shield policy for the public and only require it for health workers, pointing out that the said personal protective equipment is only an additional burden to people’s expenses.
Roque, however, countered that face shields have been proven to be effective in protecting people against COVID-19 transmission.
He also reasoned that there is a global supply shortage on experimental drugs like Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, which bars the government from procuring more even if it wanted to.
“‘Wag tayo magpadala sa usaping pulitika. Madaming kandidato, lahat magsasabi sila nang kung anu anong mga bagay para suyuin kayo,” the Palace official said.
(Let’s not be swayed by talks of politics. There are many candidates who will say just about anything to court you.)
“Ang katotohanan, lahat ng gamot ay narariyan. Kung nagkukulang tayo ng Tocilizumab, hindi dahil hindi tayo bumili kundi walang supply at humahanap ng alternatibo,” he added.
(But the truth is, medicines are there. If we are lacking in Tocilizumab, it’s not because we’re not procuring it, it is because there is no supply and we are looking for alternatives.)
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