President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration has done enough to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said on Monday.
“The question [is] if the government has done enough. Yes, the government has done enough within its means,” Andanar told the ABS-CBN News Channel, when quizzed if he is convinced that the government has done enough to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country.
Andanar noted that despite limited resources, the government was able to manage the Covid-19 crisis by implementing various programs aimed at helping Filipinos who are suffering due to the pandemic.
He ensured that the government remains focused on serving the Filipino people and giving them the “best” service amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
Andanar made the remarks, even after the government had received a failing grade from several experts for its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While Andanar said critics are “entitled to their own opinion,” he still believed that most Filipinos continue to appreciate the Duterte government’s efforts to defeat Covid-19.
“Following the immediate and efficient response of the Duterte administration against Covid-19, majority of the Filipinos have expressed their satisfaction,” he said. “We have programs that the government have implemented for the past few months to address the problem, the huge problem of the pandemic. It’s not perfect, but the entire world is grappling with this problem.”
Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which lapsed on June 25, gave Duterte temporary special powers to address the Covid-19 crisis in the country.
On Thursday, Malacañang said Duterte is expected to certify as urgent the so-called “Bayanihan 2,” which seeks to extend his emergency powers to combat Covid-19.
Andanar said the passage of the proposed Bayanihan 2 into law would enable the government to purchase more Covid-19 test kits and other medical supplies, as well as to continue the cash-for-work and other subsidy programs of the government.
“We need this [proposed] Bayanihan  Act to continue our fight against the pandemic,” he said. “What is important for the President is for him to be able to give this nation the solutions that it needs to be able to bounce back after this pandemic.”
Andanar also acknowledged that the government would need the help of the private sector and the entire Filipino people to revive the country’s economy.
“We should move at one direction, there should be no politics now, it should all be for the nation,” he said.
Duterte, who is set to deliver his fifth and penultimate State of the Nation Address on Monday afternoon, is expected to present a roadmap that will help the country recover from the effects of Covid-19. (PNA)