Jul 17, 2021 @ 14:27

Malabong kausap! Here’s why ex-VP Binay expects gov’t to continue speaking in tongues about COVID-19

Former Vice President Jejomar Binay doesn’t expect the government’s messaging about the COVID-19 pandemic to improve in the run up to the 2022 elections.

In his July 14 column for the Manila Bulletin, Binay said some politikos will treat the pandemic “as an extension of the political conflict” leading up to the polls.

“As the election period approaches, we can expect more of these self-serving statements. And it would not be surprising if some government officials will continue to engage in misdirection, exaggeration, intimidation, and name-calling. Do not expect clarity any time soon,” he said.

Binay noted two concerning recent changes in the government’s communication strategy regarding the pandemic. First was the Department of Health’s statement that the Philippines was now at “low risk” for COVID-19, which prompted a word of caution from the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The reckless declaration that we are now ‘low risk’ could again give the public the wrong impression that they no longer need to wear masks, observe physical distancing, or avoid indoor gatherings. This would be disastrous considering the highly infectious nature of the latest COVID-19 variants,” he said.

The former Vice President said the government’s new target of population protection instead of herd immunity also implies that its previous goal wasn’t attainable.

The government has revised its goal of aiming to vaccinate 70 percent of the population to just 40 percent.

“The promise that we will have a merry Christmas this year now seems to be beyond reach,” Binay said.

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