Press Release
July 1, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1,085:
Lessons we must learn from Indonesia's COVID-19 situation

Just when we thought things were beginning to get better, the Delta and Delta-Plus variants of COVID-19 are now threatening to undermine the global vaccination campaign.

While we commiserate with Indonesia whose situation is now at the edge of a COVID-19 catastrophe, we must not lose this opportunity to learn if only to prevent a similar fate.

Hindi maaaring magpa-kampante lalo't nasa apat na porsyento (4%) pa lamang ng ating populasyon ang bakunado na ng dalawang doses.

We have to keep demanding from the government not only timely responses and efficient intervention, but diligence and foresight.

With the current system of Testing, Tracing and Treatment (3Ts), as well as the pace of our vaccination, there is an immediate need to ramp up many components of our health and pandemic response to prepare for any eventuality with these threats of new variants, both in NCR and other high-risk areas. We must remain not only vigilant but also circumspect in policy development affecting the health, lives, rights and livelihoods of the millions of Filipinos who remain to be at the mercy of this lethal virus.

For instance, while we must not encourage vaccine hesitancy through fearmongering, the government must not be nonchalant, even already bordering on precariousness, on the new studies regarding vaccine efficacy. The COVID-19 deaths of fully vaccinated doctors in Indonesia, who were inoculated with Sinovac, should prompt this government to consider, as early as now, whether it would still be prudent to continue relying on the brand for our own healthcare workers or consider giving them as booster shots.

Questions should also be raised as to whether the government should continue ordering Sinovac doses amidst this new development and the still ongoing "Sinovaccine-hesitancy" of many Filipinos. Hindi nga sila nagkukulang sa pagpapa-pogi points na para bang utang na loob natin ang milyong bakuna gayong binili ang marami sa mga iyon gamit ang buwis ng bayan. Pero dapat ring tanungin: Who are they truly serving with these millions of orders from China? Taumbayan nga ba talaga? Is the government saying that they are willing to sacrifice our safety if only to keep winning the favor of this bully of a country?

Hindi lang nga healthcare workers ang nakataya dito. Maging mga senior citizens at mga taong may comorbidities. Pati na rin ang mga OFWs kung saan mula sa hanay nila marami pa ring naghihintay sa mga vaccine brands na required ng kanilang mga employers o ng mga bansang kanilang papasukan. Many European countries where our OFWs seek to return only allow entry of those vaccinated with Pfizer, Astrazeneca and Moderna. Ito nga ang dahilan kaya napakaraming OFWs ang naka-tengga sa Pilipinas at naghihikahos na.

These are the matters that any good leader must be talking about. We don't need a once-a-week President who constantly rants and rambles incoherently instead of focusing on the real problems of the nation. Is this truly the best you can do? And to the millions of Filipinos out there who had high hopes for this administration, kaya niyo pa ba?

(Access the handwritten version, here:

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