Robredo bares more on COVID plan: Tackle corruption, pick skillful DOH chief, fix PhilHealth | Inquirer News
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Robredo bares more on COVID plan: Tackle corruption, pick skillful DOH chief, fix PhilHealth

/ 02:25 PM November 08, 2021
Robredo bares more on COVID plan: Tackle corruption, pick skillful DOH chief, fix PhilHealth

Vice President and presidential aspirant Leni Robredo during a press conference on Monday, November 8, 2021. INQUIRER/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo would address corruption and anomalies, fix PhilHealth, and pick a government health chief who is skillful and accountable and has a genuine concern for people.

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These were just some of the efforts she intends to take if ever she wins the presidency in next year’s May elections, as Robredo revealed on Monday more details about her coronavirus response plan titled “Kalayaan Mula sa COVID” (Freedom from COVID).

In a press conference with running mate, vice presidential aspirant Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, and former Department of Health (DOH) secretaries and sectoral representatives, Robredo emphasized the all-important endeavor to fortify the country’s health system to effectively manage and combat the pandemic.

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“Tigil ang korupsyon, tigil ang anomalya. Magtatalaga tayo ng mahusay na Secretary of Health. Pipili tayo ng may pananagutan, kayang pasunurin ang buong burukrasya, nauunawaan ang mga proseso, may kaalamang teknikal, at may malasakit sa taumbayan. Patitibayin natin ang sistemang pangkalusugan,” Robredo said in a speech.

(Stop the corruption, stop the anomalies. We will appoint an efficient and competent Secretary of Health. We will choose someone who has accountability, who can run the entire bureaucracy, who understands the processes, who has technical knowledge and concern for people. We will strengthen the country’s healthcare system.)

She vowed to solve problems hounding the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), assuring that hospitals would be paid so that extending quality healthcare services to the people would not be interrupted.

“Ayusin ang PhilHealth. Tatanggalin ang mga buhol para bumilis ang proseso. Babayaran ng PhilHealth ang mga utang sa mga ospital— perang magagamit ng mga ospital para maalagaan tayo,” she added.

(We will fix PhilHealth. We will remove the impediments to speed up processes. PhilHealth will pay its debts to hospitals— and this is money which hospitals can use to take care of all of us.)

In the same press conference, former DOH secretaries Manuel Dayrit and Esperanza Cabral said that the next health chief should possess certain characteristics such as competence, commitment, and love for the country so this person’s leadership of the agency would transcend the pandemic.

Adding to the earlier unveiling of her Freedom from COVID plan and apart from appointing a competent DOH chief and fixing PhilHealth, Robredo on Monday presented other things-to-be-done to address the health crisis:

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  • Use the executive branch’s power to provide rightful salaries to frontline health workers, and proper equipment for hospitals
  • Free and accessible healthcare services for people by having the government partner with private health institutions in efforts like telemedicine channels, while strengthening barangay-based health systems
  • Institute a nationwide vaccination program while fine-tuning systems to prevent wastage
  • Freedom from hunger and poverty through the provision of jobs
  • An efficient system of social aid provision for areas under a lockdown
  • Job protection by providing incentives to businesses so that they would not lay off employees, plus a safety net for people who would lose their jobs through the cash-for-work program
  • Strengthening the agricultural sector by prioritizing local production
  • Safe return to schools program
  • Provision of gadgets and internet for students under high-risk areas who cannot go to classes physically

She then stressed anew that the public should not be distracted and keep in mind that COVID-19 is still here despite recently decreasing cases of new infections.

She also noted the country’s low ranking in the COVID-19 resilience index of Bloomberg that was released October 27.

“Totoo, may mga araw na tila bang umaayos na ang  ating situwasyon. Dalangin nating magtuloy-tuloy na ito. Pero kailangan nating maging mulat na hindi pa tayo tuluyang nakakaraos sa pandemya. Maaaring magkaroon ulit ng bagong variant na magdudulot ng surge,” Robredo stressed.

(It’s true, there are days when the situation seems to be getting better. We are hoping it will continue to improve. But we must also remain vigilant and aware that we have yet to fully ride out the pandemic. New variants can still emerge, which can cause another surge.)

“Tandaan natin na ayon sa pinakahuling assessment ng Bloomberg, pinakahuli ulit ang Pilipinas sa listahan ng COVID Resilience Ranking sa buong mundo,” she added.

(We must remember that based on the latest assessment of Bloomberg, the Philippines is last in its COVID Resilience Ranking in the world.)

READ: PH still at bottom of COVID-19 economic resilience ranking

COVID-19 cases in the country have decreased after the surge in August and September caused by the dreaded Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

However, experts are still worried that another surge may take place in the country if Filipinos disregard public health safety protocols — especially since huge crowds, among them minors, were seen in public spaces in the past days as the national government eased Metro Manila to Alert Level 2 of its five-tier COVID community quarantine system.

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Children now allowed out under Alert Level 2 in Metro Manila

Complacency under alert level 2 worries DOH 

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TAGS: #2022candidates, 2022 elections, alert level 2, Children, COVID-19, Department of Health, DoH, Esperanza Cabral, Manuel Dayrit, Office of the Vice President, OVP, Philippine news updates, Vice President Leni Robredo
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