VP bets to focus on science-based approach for pandemic response

by MATTHEW DAVE JUCOM

SOME VICE presidential candidates for the 2022 polls said they would prioritize a scientific approach to better manage the COVID-19 pandemic should they be elected in the position.

The consensus within the scientific community should be conducted as part of the pandemic response, vice presidential bet Rizalito David said during the CNN Philippines’ vice presidential debate held Saturday.

He added that the government should not just rely on one side when managing the pandemic.

Maraming mga doktor at siyentipiko ang nagsasabing may gamot sa Covid. Mayroon tayong pwedeng gawin, mayroon tayong natural na gamot. Hindi natin kailangang mag-lockdown pero dahil ang gobyerno lamang ang nagsagawa ng pamamaraan… ‘yan ang nangyari sa atin,” David said.

Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said he would focus on preventive healthcare and treatment instead of continuous vaccination, which was costly for the limited government funds. 

“Treatment, prevention, prophylaxis. I think we should go there. The vaccination program is good, but what do we do after six months? After six months, we ask congress again for 78 billion? Para mabili na naman for 100 million Filipinos every six months?” Sotto said. 

Sotto also urged the Food and Drug Administration for vast approval of prophylaxis treatments, which he said that most countries have already innovated and discovered. 

Medical doctor Willie Ong raised the need to create an infectious disease hospital instead of admitting patients in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

Kailangan natin magtayo ng infectious disease hospital, doon natin ilalagay ‘yong mga COVID patients. Hindi pwede sa PGH kasi namamatay ‘yong ibang pasyente,” Ong said. 

He also questioned the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, asking why the government did not include building a new hospital.

However, Sotto, the principal author of the law, said the law focused on providing aid to those adversely affected by the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Manny SD Lopez of the Labor Party recommended a “science-based, cost-effective, and pragmatic approach” to pandemic management.

He also emphasized the importance of drafting policies that directly address the issues brought by the pandemic rather than political and commercial interests. 

“We have to have policies that specifically address the issues beyond political and commercial interest because this is what really bothers our pandemic response. And we can do better by caring more and caring for our country and for our people,” Lopez said.  F

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