Sec. Roque to Robredo: ‘blind and deaf’ to periodic assessment of pandemic

The national government is already making periodic assessments of the country’s fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this comment after Vice President Leni Robredo batted for periodic assessments of the Covid-19 response than extend the declaration of state of calamity in the entire country until 2021.

Roque said Robredo is simply “blind and deaf” to the fact that the government has been doing what she has suggested all along.

“All you have to do is go to the webpage of the (Department of Health), all she has to do is to consult the regular report being submitted by the Office of the President to the Congress pursuant to the Bayanihan 1 and Bayanihan 2,” he said in a virtual presser.

He thanked Robredo for her suggestion.

Through Proclamation No. 1021 signed on Sept. 16 and released on Friday, President Rodrigo Duterte extended the state of calamity “for a period of one year”, or from Sept. 13, 2020 to Sept. 12, 2021, “unless earlier lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant.”

Duterte said the extension would allow the national government, as well as local government units (LGUs), to continue using the “appropriate funds, including the Quick Response Fund, in their disaster preparedness and response efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19, monitor and control prices of basic necessities and prime commodities, and provide basic services to the affected populations”.

Under the proclamation, all government agencies and LGUs are enjoined to cooperate and mobilize the necessary resources to “undertake critical, urgent, and appropriate disaster response aid and measures in a timely manner to curtail and eliminate the threat of Covid-19.”

Law enforcement agencies, with the support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, were also directed to continue undertaking all necessary measures “to ensure peace and order” in affected areas.

During her weekly radio program on Sunday, Robredo said she could not help but wonder why the President extended the national state of calamity until Sept. 12, 2021.

“Kasi gusto bang sabihin na ganoon katagal iyong emergency situation natin? Kasi kung ganoon katagal, parang nakakatakot para sa atin. (Does this mean our emergency situation will last that long? Because if it will take long, it is scary for us),” she said. (PNA)

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