News Release

Statement of Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on the comments of critics on the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic

We are dismayed by the recent comments that describe the government’s proactive responses to contain the recent surge of COVID-19 as lacking in leadership.

Not only do these statements disregard the hard work and sacrifice of our medical frontliners and government officials, they are also an unnecessary form of politicking and electioneering at a time when we should be focusing on addressing the surge in cases.

The current surge in COVID-19 cases is an impact of the different variants of the virus which are more contagious- the effects of which are something currently being experienced not only by the Philippines, but also of other countries in different regions.

To say that the Duterte administration’s response is on ‘autopilot’ is to belittle the expertise of those in the recommendatory and implementary bodies who have put in hard work and dedication to address the health issue since day one. These are people, experts on their field, who base their decision on data and information. Those critics skewed use of words such as ‘ningas cogon’ and ‘one horrific year’, while all highly quotable, reflect a faulty understanding or bailiwick-driven politics.

With the continued challenge of the rise in COVID-19 cases, the Duterte administration is ceaseless in intensifying targeted testing and vaccine inoculation, where we are one of the leading countries in the ASEAN region.

Furthermore, it has worked non-stop at increasing our treatment and management facilities, allocating more personal protective equipment for our frontliners, and building and repurposing facilities to accommodate patients, such as the recent opening of the Quezon Institute Off-site Modular Hospital, among others.

We recognize the hard work of our government officials and medical frontliners and ask that they continue their efficient and effective service for our collective recovery.

The Duterte administration remains open and receptive to concrete discussions of specific and actionable suggestions to address the recent surge we are experiencing. We welcome these, rather than the recycled and counterproductive criticisms that do not benefit anyone else, other than individuals with planned political endeavors.

We remind everyone to continue to observe the minimum health protocols of wearing of face mask and shield, safe physical distancing, and proper hygiene, among others, and ensure that we all do our part in minimizing the surge of the virus.