Leni Robredo posing for the camera

Vice President Leni Robredo said she only wants to help and does not want to see the government fail as she laid down suggestions on how the Duterte administration could address the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

"Ididiin ko: Gusto lang naming tumulong. Ayaw naming mabigo ang gobyerno, dahil kapag nabigo ang gobyerno, tayong mga Pilipino ang magdurusa, tayong mga Pilipino ang magkakasakit at mamamatay,” Robredo said in a public address aired over her Facebook page Monday.

She said the P1.5 billion funding for local government units under the Bayanihan 2 law should be strategically distributed to over 1,634 cities and municipalities, meaning those with higher rate of transmission should get more so these LGUs can increase their capacity for conducting COVID-19 testing and contact tracing efforts, as well as expand their quarantine and isolation facilities.

She cited DOH data, as of September 23, showing that there are 66 LGUs which are considered high risk areas due to 100 active cases per 100,000 individuals of the population.

On the other hand, the same government data states there are 485 LGUs with no community transmission.

“Magkaiba dapat ang istratehiya para sa mga ito. Mas marami, mas mahusay, at mas inaarugang community health workers ang kailangan natin—at kailangang suportahan ang mga LGU para makamtan ito," Robredo said.

The Vice President also appealed for more aid for micro, small, and medium enterprises which make up 99% of businesses in the country, as well as intensified job matching initiatives.

“Bukod sa mga pautang na nakalaan sa Bayanihan 2, kailangan nila ng direktang grants—para magpatuloy ang pasahod nila sa mga empleyado, at ang mismong operasyon nila. Dapat gumawa ng paraan para maipaabot ang mga grant ito sa mga maliliit at naghihikahos na negosyo dahil marami sa kanila, walang access sa mga bangko na madalas dinadaluyan ng pondo,” Robredo said.

“Karugtong nito, tulungan [nating] makahanap ng trabaho ang mga newly unemployed dahil sa pandemya. Mahalaga ang pagkalap ng datos ng mga pangangailangan ng negosyo, at ang pagtutugma nito sa mga naghahanap ng trabaho, lalo pa dahil mahirap ngayong bumiyahe dahil sa pangamba o limitasyon sa public transport,” she added.

She cited her office’s job matching platform with private partners dubbed Sikap.PH which offers 14,000 job opening so far, including individuals who did not finish college education.

Partnering with Sikap.PH is another initiative called Iskaparate.com, a platform which allows small time entrepreneurs to sell their products.

“Alalahanin natin, 77% ng mga Pilipino ay walang bank account. Marami ring walang kaalaman o kagamitan para magpost sa mga existing platforms. Kung makakapag-ambagan ang lahat para palawakin pa ang saklaw ng Iskaparate.com, mas marami ang mahahanap at matutulungang mga community-based na negosyante para makilahok sa digital space,” Robredo said.

“Bukas na bukas kami na makipagtulungan sa pambansang pamahalaan, o sa kahit sinuman, para palakasin ang mga platform tulad ng Sikap.PH at Iskaparate.com," she added.

Robredo also called on the government to work for a less than 5% COVID-19 positivity rate by the end of October.

At present, the country’s positivity rate is at 10.3% while the benchmark set by the World Health Organization is 5%.—AOL, GMA News

This article Robredo on COVID-19: I don't want gov't to fail was originally published in GMA News Online.

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