Robredo calls for gov't transparency on coronavirus
MANILA, Philippines – Following the confirmation of the first local transmission of the novel coronavirus in the country, Vice President Leni Robredo called on the government to be "very transparent" in its response.
In her radio show on Sunday, March 8, Robredo stressed the importance of transparency to dispel speculations such as alleged "underreporting" of the number of COVID-19 cases. (READ: DOH confirms 6th coronavirus case in PH)
The Vice President noted how other countries have responded to the outbreak.
"So marami nang best practices na nakikita, na sana iyon iyong sinusundan natin. Iyong transparency, nakakataas ng tiwala ng tao sa pamahalaan, so sana...sana maging very transparent. Sana walang pagduda iyong taumbayan na mayroong mga information na hindi 'sinisiwalat," said Robredo.
(So there are many best practices observed, and I hope these are the ones we're following. With transparency, the public would better trust the government, so I hope [the government] would be very transparent. I hope there would be no doubts from the public anymore that some information are being hidden.)
The Vice President also said the government should have promptly released guidelines as soon as the first local transmission was confirmed.
After the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the first case of local transmission on Saturday, March 7, Duterte agreed to the DOH's recommendation to declare a state of public health emergency. This declaration has yet to be issued as of Sunday.
Robredo also noted that as early as February 21, the DOH had already recommended the declaration of a state of public health emergency once local transmission is confirmed.
"Noong ni-request sana ito noong February 21, sana hinanda na, para the moment na nagkaroon ng local transmission, nilabas na kaagad," the Vice President said.
(When [the declaration] was requested on February 21, they should have prepared [the guidelines] so that the moment a local transmission is confirmed, it would have been released immediately.)
She explained that the guidelines would entail "a whole-of-government approach."
"So hopefully first thing tomorrow (Monday, March 9), lumabas na (it gets issued)," added Robredo. – Rappler.com