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High level of frustration in Cebu City amid rise in COVID-19 cases —Robredo

Residents of Cebu City are experiencing a high level of frustration amid the apparent lack of strategy to fight COVID-19 and the rising number of infections there, Vice President Leni Robredo said Wednesday.

Robredo cited reports received by her team six days after they were deployed to the city.

“Iyong level of frustration, mataas. Ito iyong [reports na] natatanggap namin. Parang mas naghahanap…hindi naman ito actually reklamo sa mga ospital, pero reklamo sa nangyayari in general—na parang naghahanap sila ng mas defined na plano,” Robredo said.

“Parati ko itong inuulit-ulit, na mahalaga na nako-communicate sa tao kung ano iyong plano, para mas maging hopeful siya. Kasi kapag ang tao nakikita niya na walang direksyon, walang plano, mas natatakot siya. Mas natatakot siya para sa sarili niya, mas natatakot siya para sa pamilya niya,” Robredo added.

Robredo also said that Cebuanos are alarmed by being blamed for the rise in COVID-19 cases and threatened with arrest with the deployment of Special Action Forces.

“Kasi ‘di ba, halimbawa ngayon, pataas nang pataas iyong kaso. Kapag hindi alam ng tao kung bakit nangyayari ito, hindi alam ng tao kung ano ba iyong plano ng pamahalaan para masugpo iyong pagtaas ng kaso, hindi talaga siya kampante eh,” Robredo said.

Robredo said that this environment of frustration could also be a factor why Doctors to the Barrios protested the deployment of its doctors from Region 6 and 7 in Cebu City.

The protest has prompted the Health Department to make the deployment on a voluntary basis.

“Kung ang impression kasi nila, 'Ang gulo-gulo doon, iyong mga doktor nga doon, grabe na iyong reklamo, bakit pa ako pupunta?',” Robredo said.

“Kaya ito talaga, kailangang ipakita na magiging worthwhile kung pupunta sila,” Robredo added.

Since Robredo’s office sent staff members to Cebu City a week ago, her office has been able to provide shuttle service for health and essential industry workers, and dorms for hospital employees.

Cebu City, which has over 7,000 COVID-19 cases, is the lone area in the country under enhanced community quarantine—a protocol which requires physical distancing and bans mass gathering , mass transport and non-essential work. — BM, GMA News