Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday called on the government to lay out a comprehensive, quick and clear plan to beat the COVID-19 pandemic, which she said is the only way to revive businesses. It's not a choice between health and the economy, she said.
As COVID-19 cases continue to pile up, up to 194,292 late Monday, the economy lacks consumers who are confident enough to spend. People are staying indoors to avoid catching the disease. They are also saving money, concerned that they could lose their jobs, Robredo said.
"Pangunahin sa mga rekomendasyong pang-ekonomiya—gaya ng naidiin ko na sa ibang mga pahayag—ang paglalatag ng masinsin, mabilis, at malinaw na mga hakbang para tugunan ang pandemya (Foremost among recommendations for the economy, as I stressed in previous statements, is the drafting of a comprehensive, quick and clear plan to address the pandemic)," she said.
"Idinidiin ko: Hindi magkatunggali ang mga suliranin ng kalusugan at ekonomiya (Let me stress this: the health and economic porblems are not rivals). Address the pandemic, and we set in motion the gears of the economy," she said.
Earlier a research adviser to the state's pandemic response task force, Guido David said the Philippines could flatten the curve or slow the spread of COVID-19 by the end of August at the earliest, or in the following month. Fifteen days of strict quarantine in Mega Manila helped, he said.
In his address to the nation at the height of the MECQ on Aug. 10, President Rodrigo Duterte told the nation of his dilemma: ensuring that both people's lives and the the economy survive the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he was caught "between the devil and the deep blue sea." He is expected to deliver a message to the nation again late on Monday.
"Walang ibang kayang mag-abot ng salbabida sa ekonomiya ngayon kundi ang gobyerno; gobyerno lang ang may pondo at makinarya para magparating ng sapat at ibayong saklolo (Only the government can provide a lifeline to the economy. Only government has the funds and machinery to bring enough rescue)," she said. Bayanihan 2 is not enough, she said.
CONTEXT: Where Will P140 Billion Go Under COVID Response Law Bayanihan 2?
"Buo ang loob ko. Sa pananalig, sa paninindigan, at higit sa lahat, sa pagkakaisa, madadaig natin ang krisis na ito. Tiwala ako: kaya natin ito (I believe that through faith, conviction and most of all unity, we will overcome this crisis. I know that we can do this)," she said.
Watch Robredo's address below: