“We cannot just wait for the vaccine!” —Youth Party

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We cannot just wait for the vaccine! Hold the Duterte Administration accountable to its incompetence in Pandemic Response! Pursue a comprehensive, scientific, and health-based solution now! – Kabataan Partylist

Kabataan Party-list slams President Duterte’s tunnel vision and pinning everything on the availability of the vaccine. This comes after Russia offered Sputnik V, a vaccine being developed for COVID-19 to enter its Phase 3 of clinical trials around October which would be including Russian and Filipino participants.

Without question, any development with regards to the development of a COVID-19 vaccine is a welcome one. We, however, are against the current action being taken by Duterte to just make the people wait for the vaccine. According to the schedule laid out for Phase 3 of the clinical trials, they are expected to run a period of 5 months, starting October to March 2021. Duterte himself is expected to get injected on May 2021 at the earliest.

Duterte’s addiction to lockdowns has already led to dire consequences for the last five months. Without providing social amelioration for those in need of it, the lack of a comprehensive plan to improve the conditions of our health workers and not hiring more of them, the lack of priority given to mass testing and associated health prerequisites to contain the spread of the virus, and the continued misplaced trust to dysfunctional and incompetent officials and ex-military men in the IATF, the president’s decisions have only increased the suffering and the ire of the people.

Does the president intend to extend the people’s agony and suffering until next year, when the vaccine is expected to be available? Does he intend to do nothing against the backdrop of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and related deaths, the increasing number of people losing their jobs and going hungry, and the psychological toll this has taken upon the people? We cannot let him get away with such negligence; Duterte must be held accountable and he must act now.

He cannot keep getting away with the reasoning that we do not have money because we do. We have billions of pesos supposedly at our disposal for the expansion and support of our health capacity and the provision of economic aid but the Administration is busy on something else; instead, he allots these funds to maintain the country’s creditworthiness, the pursuit of the controversial Build, Build, Build project, increasing the coffers of the super-rich, and of course, corruption.

In light of these, our calls will remain the same, but will always resonate stronger than the last time as the crisis gets worse because of Duterte’s inaction. Pursue a comprehensive scientific and health-based and rights-based approach to the pandemic! Dismiss the incompetent officials and ex-military men in the IATF and replace them with team players from the health sector and related fields! Give sufficient economic aid to the people! Medical solutions, not militaristic ones!###

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