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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

#YouthSpeak! What advice can you give to President Duterte on his handling of COVID-19?

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It has been five months into this pandemic (as of writing) and nothing has gotten better ever since. We are now desensitized from the staggering amount of positive cases and anomalous recovered cases that arise everyday. The curve is clearly far from flat and a new, more infectious coronavirus strain was recently detected in the largest city of the country. Meanwhile, our overall loan escalated to ₱9.05 trillion in late June, yet the President repeatedly states that we do not have money.

It seems that the administration is singularly bent on certain policies which were uncalled for, as if there are larger issues at hand than the coronavirus. What makes this worse (both aggravating and embarrassing) are the government officials calling the coronavirus “a blessing in disguise” and caroling for a merely disproved hypothesis. Sadly enough, the administration itself denies to admit their incompetence and chooses to blame its own people instead. At this point, one does not need to be a political expert to realize the administration’s poor governance (lack of action and vague instructions) during these trying times.

The following are advice from some of the members of the youth:

“Now is the time to heed the call, Mr. President— time to be accountable and to listen to your people. The deceased are now gone and the living are hungry of leaders that would help them face this battle. Show us, that amidst the adversaries, it is the pandemic our enemy and not the people in authority. #LetLeniLead”

– Micah Calivo, BS Economics and Public Policy from San Beda University-Mendiola

“Resign and let VP Leni do the job instead”

– Janos Bercades, Grade 12 ABM student from San Beda University Rizal

“Given that we are doing the TIT or Trace, Isolate, Treat; I’d like to advise the president to further strengthen the protocols, specifically contact tracing in order to avoid further transmission of the virus. Moreover, the money the government borrowed should be budgeted wisely and be used to help the ones in need not just for the sake of some politicians. Lastly, President Duterte should give value and let the medical experts lead this since Covid-19 is fundamentally a health issue.”

– Breanna Estacio, Grade 12 HUMSS student from San Beda University Rizal

President Duterte should have heeded the call of the Senate and Health workers for DOH Secretary Duque’s resignation. Sec. Duque is incompetent, inefficient and has showed failed leadership on handling Covid 19 crisis on the country and it is very evident up to now in terms of DOH’s anomalous data manipulation, delayed procurement of protective equipment for health workers and slow contact tracing. The President should never tolerate this kind of leadership in times of crisis and must demand accountability and comprehensive plans or actions from Sec. Duque. President Duterte should assure that the plans made by the DOH, together with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases are well executed and implemented. If President Duterte refuses to fire Sec. Duque for some political reasons, then the President himself showed to its people that his administration settles for less. This adds up to the suffering of Filipinos this pandemic.”

– Roeder Iverson Basco, BS Public Administration from Polytechnic University of the Philippines

The only advice I could give to President Duterte on our fight against Covid-19 is for him to listen to the experts because the data are not lying— we are losing this battle! He needs to maximize the use of digital technology in data management and contact tracing efforts in order to turn the tide against this virus. Lastly, he needs to listen to his people, the masses and especially the youth.

– Dan Joash Franco, BS Communication Technology Management from Ateneo de Manila University

If there is one thing the administration should take note from this, it is to LISTEN. Not to begrimed agendas, but to the plights of his people, especially healthcare workers. The rest will follow once he pushes his ego and evil ways aside.

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