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Palace on Robredo’s suggestions on COVID-19 response: Thanks, but there’s nothing new

Vice President Leni Robredo’s suggestions on how to improve the Philippines’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic were already addressed by the government’s inter-agency task force, Malacañang said Thursday.

Robredo earlier wrote presidential spokesperson Harry Roque a letter about her suggestions on the procurement of test kits, handling of locally stranded individuals, Department of Health’s reporting of cases, and adoption of service contracting for jeepney drivers affected by the pandemic.

“I’m about to send my response to her letter today and my response is all her suggestions, we’ve long implemented,” Roque said in a CNN Philippines interview.

“Thank you very much, [the] IATF has long recommended all of your suggestions. There is nothing new in her recommendation.”

Robredo also called on the IATF to include the League of Cities of the Philippines in the body, but Roque said the task force will continue the policy of inviting local officials as resource persons.

"We always consult them," he said.

As for Robredo’s statement that she is willing to work with the government on COVID-19 response, the Palace spokesman replied: “We’ve welcomed all her contributions. I don’t think it’s an issue if she can help. She can do whatever she has been doing and it’s very much appreciated.”

Roque earlier said the Duterte administration took the right steps in addressing the pandemic after Robredo accused the government of failing to act urgently at the start of the public health crisis in January.—AOL, GMA News