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    Leni’s Kalayaan sa COVID Plan: By the people, for the people

    Leni’s Kalayaan sa COVID Plan: By the people, for the people

    [English Version]

    Presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo said on Monday, November 8, that her Kalayaan sa COVID Plan, was a product of multisectoral consultations.

    Robredo’s Kalayaan sa COVID Plan aims to free the Filipino people from their fear of COVID-19, hunger, and inadequate education brought about by the pandemic through a 10-point program. Many of these points are already being implemented by the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in its pandemic relief efforts.

    “Yung mga representatives ng nurses, ng urban poor, ng business, ng agri, ng education, BHW [barangay health workers]– kailangan kinokonsulta sila kasi, kailangan yung natatanong yung lahat ng stakeholders na affected. Kaya pag tiningnan niyo yung program namin, merong education, in fact merong transport, merong negosyo, merong employment… Yung opisina naman namin, very regularly nagkakaron kami ng briefings. Yung COVID plan hindi ito galing sa kin, pero galing sa consultation with the many different sectors,” said Robredo.

    The plan’s multisectoral approach earned positive reactions from the various sectors which were part of its drafting.

    Susan Wong Hugo, a BHW from Sta. Mesa, said that without a doubt, her fellow barangay health workers will be happy with Robredo’s Kalayaan sa COVID Plan, emphasizing that they are the ones deployed as first responders when the virus spreads in communities. Hugo also lamented the government’s shortcomings.

    “Unang una na para sa BHW, mababa ang sweldo na kailangan lamang manggaling sa kung ano ang budget ng barangay. Walang social protection tulad ng Philhealth, SSS at PAG-IBIG. Kapag naisakatuparan na ng maayos ang para sa public health kasama ang tugon sa aming mga maliit na kahilingan, bababa na ng tuluyan ang kaso at tayo ay makakapamuhay na ng maayos at normal. Lahat tayo ay magiging malaya na sa Covid kaya marami pong salamat VP Leni sa inihandang plano ng Kalayaan sa COVID.”

    Maristela P. Abenojar, President of Nurses United, said that the group believes in Robredo’s freedom from COVID plan and echoed Hugo’s belief that the programs would strengthen the public health system.

    In particular, Abenojar stressed the need to have a sufficient health budget and taking care of nurses and all health workers and health professionals.

    “Dapat rin tiyakin ng pamahalaan ang pagbibigay ng mga libreng gamot at serbisyong pangkalusugan sa mga pangpublikong pasilidad pangkalusugan,at magkaroon ng isang nurse sa bawat barangay gayundin ang dagdag na health personnel sa lahat ng komunidad at ospital. Dapat nang wakasan ang mga katiwalian at korapsyon! Ang lahat ng mamamayang Pilipino ay may karapatan sa kalusugan at pangunahing reaponsibilidad ng pamahalaan na tiyakin ito lalo na ngayong may pandemya,” Abenojar said.

    The plan also drew praise from those outside the health sector.

    “Napakalaking tulong po ng Kalayaan sa COVID Plan lalong lalo na po ang mga nasa laylayan. Nawa'y maipagpatuloy pa ito. Ako po ay nagagalak dahil po nagkaroon ng ganitong plan lalong lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya,” said Jheodelyn Pangilinan, a Grade 3 teacher who attended the media launch of Robredo’s COVID plan.

    "Sang-ayon tayo sa COVID response plan ni VP Leni. Ang idadagdag lang natin for transport workers, naming mga drayber at operator para sa COVID response ay ang pagpapatuloy ng service contracting. Naitulak natin ito at nalaanan ng pondo sa Bayanihan 2 kasama ang Move As One Coalition bilang isa sa mga mitigation measure sa COVID response. Sa ngayon ay 70% lang kasi ang policy ng IATF/LTFRB para sa mga pampublikong sasakyan. Sa pamamagitan ng service contracting ay na-aaddress ang pagkalat ng virus sa mga public utility vehicles (PUV), mas ligtas, convenient ang mga pasahero at may income guarantee ang mga drivers. Ang mga drivers ay mga frontliners din," said Elmer Carrascal of the Mandaluyong Chapter of National Confederation of Transportworkers' Union.

    During the press conference, Robredo acknowledged that the plan may be ambitious for the country, but she stressed: “Kailangan maging ambitious kasi ang laki ng problema natin ngayon.”

    The Vice President reiterated that many aspects of the plan are already being implemented by OVP despite her office’s meager budget. The operationalization of COVID response programs is doable, she said.

    “Nagawa na namin yan dito sa opisina, na meron kaming kakarampot na pera pero siniguro namin na i-shift muna siya sa COVID response. Possible siya eh. Kailangan lang talagang all hands-on deck tayo, na lahat ng mga agencies committed, na yung kanilang mga pondo na hindi pa very urgent gamitin for other items, magamit muna for COVID response,” said Robredo. (end)

    Posted in Press Releases on Nov 08, 2021