VICE President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo is appealing to the government to be “more inclusive” in its strategies, and coordinate with local officials and stakeholders to better address the rising infections in the country.
“Kung mas inclusive lang iyong process bago mag-arrive sa isang policy; [….] kung lahat ng importanteng stakeholders bahagi na ng usapan; hindi na ito nangyayari,” Robredo said in an interview Friday.
(If only the process was more inclusive — and key stakeholders were included in talks from the start — none of these would’ve happened.)
Robredo revealed she wrote to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to include representatives of local government units (LGUs) in meetings.
However, the suggestion was rejected after Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque insisted that the officials were represented by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The Vice President pointed out that doing such will prevent officials from retracting their order — and help avoid public confusion — especially now that people rely heavily on news and information.
She cited for example the reopening of cinemas, where the IATF first released an order allowing its resumption. But after Metro Manila mayors opposed the move, it immediately reversed the policy.
“Kung nakonsulta na sana sila (LGUs), hindi na magkakaroon ng mga [policy] na after mo ibigay, babawiin mo,” Robredo said. “Hindi ko alam. Parang ang may problema, iyong sistema.”
(Those would’ve been prevented if they (LGUs ) were consulted. I don’t know. Maybe the conflict lies in the system.)
In the same interview, Robredo again asked the government to stop taking her suggestions the wrong way, adding that it should learn to accept its shortcomings to improve its pandemic response.
“Kung naniniwala ka na walang problema, iyon ang problema,” Robredo said.
( If you believe that there is no problem, that is the problem.)