Leni Robredo

More testing, more vaccines: Robredo lists 5 must-do’s when Metro Manila reverts to ECQ

Mara Cepeda
More testing, more vaccines: Robredo lists 5 must-do’s when Metro Manila reverts to ECQ

CLEAR PANDEMIC PLAN. Vice President Leni Robredo lists down five policy proposals that the government should do when Metro Manila is reverted back to enhanced community quarantine.

Vice President Leni Robredo's Facebook page

'Hindi ito gagana kung lahat ng ibang pandemic measures naka-status quo lang,' says the Vice President of the two-week lockdown of Metro Manila

Vice President Leni Robredo made good on her promise to expound on her proposed coronavirus pandemic plan, listing down five specific measures the government must do once Metro Manila reverts to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Robredo outlined her proposals in a Facebook video posted on Wednesday, August 4.

The Philippine opposition leader’s clip ran for less than two minutes. She earlier released a 14-minute video to lay down a pandemic plan that was missing from President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address.

More testing, more vaccines: Robredo lists 5 must-do’s when Metro Manila reverts to ECQ

“Narinig po natin ‘yung sinabi ng Palasyo na gustong maging ‘last ever lockdown’ itong paparating na ECQ sa NCR. Para marating ‘yung goal na ‘yun, kailangang tingnan ang lockdown bilang stopgap measure lang. Hindi ito gagana kung lahat ng ibang pandemic measures naka-status quo lang,” Robredo said. 

(We heard what the Palace said that it wants the upcoming ECQ in NCR to be the “last ever lockdown.” To achieve this goal, we should consider this lockdown as just a stopgap measure. It won’t work if all our other pandemic measures are status quo.)

Here are the Vice President’s proposals to ensure that Metro Manila’s ECQ would be effective in curbing another COVID-19 surge:

  • Increase average daily COVID-19 tests from current 50,000 per day to 120,000 day to determine which specific areas are hotspots.
  • Centralize the system and database for contact tracing, since different local government units are still running their respective systems.
  • Be “hospital-ready” – assist hospitals in hiring more health workers and ensure there are enough supplies of medicines and oxygen tanks.
  • Target to administer COVID-19 vaccines to 750,000 people on average so the country would achieve herd immunity.
  • Ensure the subsidies promised to indigent Filipinos and other beneficiaries reach them as soon as possible. 

Robredo said she is willing to help the Duterte government implement proposals if they ask for it. 

“Lahat ito puwede nang gawin, puwede nang trabahuhin, para maabot ‘yung pangarap na maging last lockdown na ito. As always, willing tayong tumulong sa anumang paraan para maabot ang mga layunin natin na makaraos na sa pandemya,” the Vice President said. 

(These are all doable, workable to achieve our target that this would be the last lockdown. As always, we are willing to help in any way to achieve the goal of overcoming this pandemic.)

Malacañang earlier said that it targeted 4 million COVID-19 vaccinations in Metro Manila alone during the lockdown.

Since 2020, Robredo has been consistent in using her official Facebook profile to talk about the state of the country’s public health crisis and to offer solutions to the Duterte administration.

Duterte and his allies have also been consistent in rejecting or outrightly ignoring Robredo’s suggestions this past year and a half.

The Vice President, for her part, has embarked on relief drives and other initiatives since the start of the pandemic, including providing free shuttle services and free swab tests in areas with high COVID-19 cases to help fill in the gaps in the government’s pandemic response. 

Her latest initiative is the Vaccine Express drive-through vaccination site which aims to bring COVID-19 vaccines to target sectors and communities. – Rappler.com

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.