Dahil siyensiya at teknolohiya lamang ang tamang gabay para malutas ang mga problemang dulot ng pandemya gaya ng COVID-19, isinulong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang pagtatag ng isang institusyong tutuklas sa mga solusyon para sa sakit na ito.
Sa ilalim ng Senate Bill 1543, layon ni Lacson na itatag ang Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP).
Ayon kay Lacson, kada araw ay patuloy sa pagtaas ang bilang ng mga nahahawaan ng COVID-19. Sa Pilipinas lamang ay hindi bababa sa 873 na ang kumpirmadong namatay. Dahil din dito, nagkaroon ng malawakang suliraning panlipunan at pang-ekonomiya ng bansa.
“These problems can only be addressed using science and technology, specifically through research and development (R&D). It is therefore imperative that we establish a Research Institute that delves into the study of viruses of the field of virology. The country needs diagnostics to detect and limit the spread of the existing viruses; vaccines to provide long-term protection; treatments to save lives in the shorter term, and social science to understand their behavioral and societal implications,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa panukala.
Stressing the importance of science and technology in addressing the problems caused by novel viruses such as the coronavirus, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has filed a bill establishing the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP).
Lacson, in Senate Bill 1543, noted the current COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has infected more than five million and killed more than 340,000 worldwide, including 14,319 infected and 873 dead in the Philippines alone.
Worse, he said the health crisis from COVID-19 has resulted in widespread social and economic crises, “the impacts of which are devastating, especially to the poor.”
“These problems can only be addressed using science and technology, specifically through research and development (R&D). It is therefore imperative that we establish a Research Institute that delves into the study of viruses of the field of virology. The country needs diagnostics to detect and limit the spread of the existing viruses; vaccines to provide long-term protection; treatments to save lives in the shorter term, and social science to understand their behavioral and societal implications,” Lacson said in his bill.
Director General-designate Wilkins Villanueva is such one good and professional officer who is fit for the job, having a long career in drug enforcement.
The President couldn’t have appointed a more qualified head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, having served our country for nearly 20 years with the Philippine National Police Narcotics Group and with the PDEA.
With the challenge of going after drug personalities amid the new normal posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he indeed has his work cut out for him.
I look forward to working with him, being the Senate Finance Subcommittee Chair and Sponsor of the PDEA and Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) budgets, among others.
Considering that the economy is reeling from a prolonged lockdown which directly affects not only individual and family income but the country’s revenue collections as well, thus draining the coffers like an open faucet, it is wise for our policy makers to ease up the restrictions currently being imposed.
As long as physical distancing and other protocols are strictly observed and enforced by authorities, I support this latest plan to allow business activities to resume, even on a limited scale.
Having said that, I hope the finer details of the decision to ease the quarantine restrictions would be based on sound data, and not just that of the Department of Health, whose limitations in handling data may potentially lead to wrong decisions. After all, we all do want to stay alive even during a lockdown.
In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* overpricing at DOH amid COVID-19 threat [0:19]
* DOH insiders provided information on irregularities [4:12]
* expose is meant to put DOH on notice [5:58]
* wrong decisions due to wrong data [11:12]
* IATF members dismayed with DOH performance [22:50]
* proposed tax on Netflix [25:48]
At the hearing of the Senate Committee of the Whole on the government’s response against COVID-19, Sen. Lacson relayed to the appropriate officials some questions from the public on the tests by PhilHealth and Philippine Red Cross. “We’re not finding fault here… Nang lumabas na 45% ng tests ang na-conduct ng Red Cross, maraming natuwa (kasi ang) impression na dumating sa kanila, libre. Mabuti at maliwanagan ang kababayan natin na may protocols na dapat sundin.”
For his part, PhilHealth president Ricardo Morales said they will publish guidelines to clarify the issue on who can qualify for free COVID-19 testing under PhilHealth, “so the public will be informed.”
In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
* sufficiency of funds for 2nd tranche of social amelioration [0:16]
* 18M beneficiary families should get 2 months’ amelioration [1:07]
* possible supplemental budget [13:02]
* delay of funds due to ‘incompetence’ of some mayors, barangay heads [18:11]
* alleged ‘doble presyo’ of PPEs purchased by DOH, and related issues [20:18]
Whichever way one looks at it, NCRPO chief Police Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas set a bad example in committing what he did during his birthday “mañanita” or whatever he wants to call it. As a result, he has been bashed, criticized and pilloried both on social and mainstream media for the incident, even as he has since apologized and regretted his indiscretion.
Certainly, he should get the punishment he deserves even as the appropriate authorities are already investigating him.
However, we may also want to take into consideration his long law-enforcement service to the country and the Filipino people, and his present efforts in supervising the checkpoints all over Metro Manila to make us safe from the coronavirus threat.
The COVID-19 pandemic involves people’s lives, and to a large extent, their livelihoods. That said, there is no room for officials who, because of sheer incompetence or corrupt thinking, will endanger our lives that we practically entrust to them.
This is not the first time that the DOH leadership is being challenged to prove itself – or leave their posts if they cannot be up to the job.