Robredo’s freedom from COVID plan: Strong PH healthcare system needed to spur recovery
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo’s plan for the country to finally be free from the COVID-19 pandemic’s harsh effects would start with strengthening the healthcare system, which in turn will erase fears about getting infected with the disease.
In a taped announcement on Wednesday, Robredo detailed her plans and suggestions, saying that clear COVID-19 response and recovery efforts are needed even if infections have been on a downtrend recently.
“Kahit na bumaba ang cases, huwag tayong kampante. Para mas mapabilis ang ating tuluyang paglaya sa COVID, ang kailangan: Klaro, malawakan, strategic, at mapagpalayang tugon,” Robredo said in the video streamed on Facebook.
“Nakakatakot magkasakit. Marami nang nawawalan ng mahal sa buhay. Marami nang nabaon sa utang dahil sa gastos. Kaya bago ang lahat, public health muna. Ang dapat gawin: Tigil ang korapsyon, tigil ang anomalya. Mahusay at matinong pinuno sa tuktok ng COVID response strategy,” she added.
According to the Vice President, helping health workers who are at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 — and ensuring free and accessible healthcare — would ensure that if ever people get sick, they would be able to recover and be reintegrated into society.
This includes providing vaccines for everyone and reforming the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), the state-run insurer that has been plagued with allegations of corruption and incompetence within its ranks in the past three years.
“Alaga sa mga nangangalaga. Sapat na sahod para sa frontliners, at sapat na suporta sa mga ospital. Para kung magkasakit ka, makakakuha ka ng atensyong medikal na walang inaalala,” Robredo said.
“Libre at accessible na healthcare. Libreng konsulta gamit ang teknolohiya. Bawat barangay may sapat na kagamitan at may sariling nurse. Bibigyan natin ng sapat na kakayahan ang mga nurse, doktor, barangay health worker, at iba pang medical frontliner. Ayusin ang PhilHealth. Mabilis na proseso para makuha agad ang claims,” she added.
Also, Robredo emphasized that the government must likewise remove the people’s fear of hunger, as some sectors refuse to heed quarantine and lockdown protocols because they would lose their livelihood in the process.
“Maraming dumadaing sa amin: Mga nawalan ng hanapbuhay o nagsara ang pinapasukan. Isa ang kaba nila: Saan kukuha ng ipapakain sa mga anak nila? Ang dapat gawin para tugunan ito: Kung may lockdown, may agarang ayuda. Itigil ang malawakang lockdown – dapat ang lockdown, targeted,” she explained.
“Protektado ang trabaho. Suportang pinansyal sa maliliit na negosyo para hindi kailangang mag-layoff. Unemployment insurance, para ang mawawalan ng trabaho, may tulong na makukuha sa gobyerno. Palakasin ang agrikultura. Gawing sapat ang suporta para mapalago ang kabuhayan ng mga mangingisda at magsasaka. Tiyakin na may pagkain ang bawat Pilipino,” she added.
She further mentioned the importance of ensuring adequate access to education as a lot of time has already been wasted due to lockdowns and insufficient gadgets for those in distance learning.
“Kung walang katiyakan ang edukasyon, kabado rin tayo: Ano na ang natutuhan ng ating mga anak? Paano sila maihahanda para sa kinabukasan?” she asked.
Robredo, seen as the figurehead of the opposition, is seeking the presidency via the 2022 national elections after unity talks between ner and other candidates did not prosper. She is running in tandem with incumbent Liberal Party president and Senator Francis Pangilinan as her vice president.
In her over five years of being the country’s second-highest leader, Robredo was hailed for providing practical solutions to several poverty concerns in depressed areas and in the countryside — and for starting quick solutions to problems during the COVID-19 pandemic — despite operating on a limited budget
In almost two years since the pandemic reached Philippine shores, Robredo has worked with private sector partners in providing free shuttles during the Luzon wide lockdowns, free personal protective equipment (PPE) sets, free dormitories, and recently, free telemedicine consultations, free mobile swabbing, and free drive-thru testing.
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