Dispatch from Crame No. 803: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Quick Reaction to President Duterte’s May 25 Address


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How can we win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with such a reactive governance?

In his latest address, Mr. Duterte just reacted to the issues. They explained why the PPEs are so expensive. He ordered the forced return of OFWs to their hometown. Then he guaranteed that schools will not open without COVID-19 vaccine.

The problem with the overpriced PPEs could have been avoided if the DOH was transparent with the specification and the negotiations in the first place.

The problems with schools opening and the OFW crisis could have been avoided with a systematic mass testing plan. The fears surrounding these issues are borne of uncertainty. Dahil wala tayong maayos na mass testing program, hindi alam ng mga LGU kung sino ang ligtas na puwedeng tanggapin. Hindi rin alam ng mga magulang kung anong mga paaralan ang ligtas para sa kanilang anak.

If the administration prioritized the mass testing program, we could have contained the COVID-19 earlier and the fears would have been less founded. In spite of repeated guarantees, we are only capable of around 10,000 tests per day. No matter what Harry Roque says, if we are unable to do 30,000 tests a day, WE DO NOT HAVE THE CAPACITY TO DO 30,000 TESTS A DAY. It is amazing the lengths this administration will go just to hide their failure to do the critical steps towards managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The issue with the OFWs is one of unforgivable negligence. They were quarantined for two months before being tested for COVID-19. Then, in spite of being tested, the certification of their negative results took more than two weeks to get printed. The OFWs in quarantine suffered depression due to the inaction of the government. An OFW from Kuwait even committed suicide out of despair.

This is absolutely unacceptable. Must we let our people suffer before we do anything?! Enough of this slow, reactive, and weak leadership. Nasaan na ang tapang at malasakit? Nasaan ang sinasabing pagbabago?

(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 803 here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_no._803)

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