Philippines

Duterte ‘late-night talk show’ a ‘prelude to bad sleep’ — Hontiveros

By April 18, 2020 No Comments
Sen. Risa Hontiveros

Sen. Risa Hontiveros. FILE PHOTO / Joseph Vidal of Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday hit President Rodrigo Duterte’s “late-night talk show,” which she said was a “prelude to a night of bad sleep.”

This after Duterte was nearly eight hours late in his address to the public on Monday night amid the coronavirus pandemic. The address was “tentatively” scheduled at 4 p.m. but Duterte was not able to deliver his message until nearly midnight.

“The President’s late-night talk show last night was the prelude to a night of bad sleep, to the detriment of the Filipino people’s regular sleeping hours and overall health,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

“After almost 8 hours of delay, the public was presented with neither a sound assessment nor a concrete plan to address the novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19 crisis,” she added.

Hontiveros also hit Duterte for his failure to address how the enhanced community quarantine has helped in preventing the spread of the disease.

To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte earlier placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine as a part of the government’s effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Under the enhanced community quarantine, “strict home quarantine shall be implemented in all households; transportation shall be suspended; provision for food and essential services shall be regulated; and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures will be implemented.”

“The public has the right to know of the government’s progress since the start of the Quarantine, a virtual lockdown,” Hontiveros said.

While Hontiveros acknowledged that that the quarantine is “essential” to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the senator said “it cannot stand alone.”

“For the lockdown to be effective, it should be backed up by intensified actions to increase the capacity of our health system, conduct mass testing, and protect our health workers at the frontlines,” Hontiveros said.

“But the President’s address last night was lacking in all those terms. The usual threats and incoherence do not a report make,” she added.

The senator added that Duterte also “provided no clear answers” to several questions with regard to government response to the pandemic such as mass testing, ensuring supply of personal protective equipment (PPEs), and cash assistance to families.

“With all the funds and special powers at his disposal since last week’s signing of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, the President should act with a sense of urgency,” Hontiveros said.

“What are the steps being taken by the government to enhance our capacity for mass testing? How do we ensure that there are enough personal protective equipment [PPE] in every hospital? How do we get the cash assistance to the most vulnerable as soon as possible? So far, the President provided no clear answers to these questions. It is alarming,” she added.

The Department of Health (DOH) said there are 1,546 cases of COVID-19 in the country as of Monday afternoon.

The number of patients who died from the disease has increased to 78 while recoveries remained at 42.

“Kailangan na ng taumbayan ang tulong na dapat sa kanila. Time is of the essence.  For us to effectively defeat COVID-19, the government must act with a sense of urgency,” Hontiveros said.

Edited by JPV

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TAGS: Coronavirus, COVID-19
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