“Ignorance and incompetence are deadlier than COVID-19.”
Thus said Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon as he hit several inaccuracies in the government’s data on COVID-19, saying such will erode the government’s credibility to contain the virus.
Drilon cited, as an example, the pronouncement made by Health Secretary Francsico Duque III that the Philippines is “actually on second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.” Other health experts belied Duque and even top government officials including Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea denied Duque’s statement.
“Nakakagulat. I do not know what is the point of it. It serves no purpose except to heighten the tension. It is not true. Talagang maraming pagkukulang,” Drilon said in an interview over radio DzRH on Thursday.
“The confidence of the people on the IATF, and the government in general, to contain the virus is one of the factors to prevent the spread of the virus. Kung nakikita mo na mali-mali ang data at hindi nagkakasundo kung ano ang standard, talagang nawawalan ng tiwala ang taumbayan sa kakayahan ng pamahalaan na ma-containyung virus na ito,” Drilon stressed.
He also cited as among the DOH’s many lapses are the basic data on the mass testing, when Duque claimed that the government targets to test 30,000 per day only to be corrected later on by Vince Dizon, National Action Plan Against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer, who said that the target is 50,000 tests per day.
“These are basic information which should be at his fingertips,” he added.
If the officials, who are at the forefront of this fight against COVID-19, cannot agree on basic data, it affects their credibility, he said.
Drilon said that having an accurate data is critical in order to win the fight against the global pandemic.
“All these debates on whether to extend or not the lockdown would be solved by having an accurate data, specifically on how many are infected by the disease and their whereabouts. We will keep on imposing a lockdown if we do not know such basic data,” he explained.
“If we have the correct data, we can have a more rationale decision. The problem is, the DOH does not have the data because their testing is inadequate,” he said as he reiterated that importance of three T’s (test, trace and treat) in fighting the spread of the virus.
Asked if he would ask Duque to resign, Drilon responded: “If he will not resign, he at least should pray.”/Stacy Ang