MANILA-Vice President Leni Robredo is concerned about President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that it is possible that in 2023 the Philippines will return to normal due to the pandemic caused by coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In an interview, Robredo said that more Filipinos will be affected and suffer if the calvary caused by the pandemic continues.
“Kapag hindi niya binilisan, mas maraming tao iyong maghihirap,”said VP Leni in GMA’s The Mangahas Interviews.
According to Robredo, in just one year of the lockdown, the number of people who have lost their jobs has skyrocketed.
So if the government does not speed up action against the pandemic, the number of Filipinos will surely increase.
“Nakakatakot ito, kasi kakayanin ba nating maghintay until 2023, considering na ang dami na ngayong naghihirap?… The longer it takes para iyong ekonomiya natin magbukas, the more difficult it will be para sa ating mga kababayan.”
If VP Leni is to be questioned, the government should expedite the roll of the vaccine. This is accompanied by strict enforcement of health protocols.
The vice president added that the formulation of a plan that will serve as a guide in reaching targets for the public and pandemic will also help.
It is said that the intermittent opening of the economy will not help as long as the level of infection remains high.
“Hindi nga natin alam kung kailan ba dadating iyong mga bakuna. Mayroong dumating ngayon, 600,000 doses, pero ilang milyon ba iyong Pilipino? Not enough for us to achieve herd immunity—na alam natin na iyong herd immunity dapat iyong ating goal para makabukas na tayo ng ekonomiya.”
If you recall, Duterte said that it is possible that in the following year after his term, the situation in the country will improve due to the pandemic.
Early first or second quarter of 2023 baka, sa tulong ng Diyos,” Duterte said when welcoming the shipment of Sinovac vaccines donated by China.
Robredo clarified that she was not opposed to the use of the Sinovac vaccine, but insisted that like the Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines, the Chinese-made vaccine should also go through consultation with the Health Technology Assessment Council.
“Yung mayroon iyong dalawa, bakit hindi din mag-seek iyong Sinovac noong positive recommendation na iyon, dahil added layer of protection iyon sa ating lahat?”
“Kahit pa donated iyan at wala tayong gagastusin, obligasyon natin na bigyan iyong ating mga kababayan ng added layer of protection. Ano ba naman iyong kahirapan humingi ng positive recommendation?”
In 2020, the country recorded the lowest economic collapse due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, the country’s gross domestic product plunged to 9.5% in the 4th quarter. This is the worst level of the country’s economy after World War II.