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Isko Moreno calls on gov't to buy COVID-19 meds instead of face shields; Palace cries politics

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Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Monday called on the government to purchase medicines used for COVID-19 patients namely tocilizumab and remdesivir instead of face shield.

Moreno made the call amid the ongoing Senate investigation on the government's allegedly questionable purchase of P8 billion worth of pandemic supplies, including face shields.

"Ako, panawagan ko sana yung isang ahensya ng gobyerno bumili naman kayo ng remdisivir at tocilizumab. Huwag lang face shield ang bilhin niyo," he said.

(I am calling on this government agency to buy remdesivir and tocilizumab. Do not limit your purchases to face shields.)

Aside from medicines, Moreno said the government should also purchase oxygen tanks that can be used by hospitals in treating COVID-19 patients.

Moreno said the government should allevitate the plight of the people amid the pandemic instead of burdening them with face shield requirement.

"Sa akin, pahirap lang sa tao yan," he said. "Wala na ngang trabaho, pinagagastos pa natin ang tao."

(For me face shields are just added burden to the people. Many have lost their jobs and yet they are still being required to buy face shields.)

In June, Moreno urged the national government to stop requiring the public to wear face shields outside their homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sought for comment, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque insisted the use of face shield is beneficial and that Moreno's criticism is related to his supposed political plans in 2022.

"Gaya po ni Vice President Leni Robredo, kandidato rin po iyan [Just like Vice President Leni Robredo, he is a candidate]," Roque said.

"Asahan na natin ang ganitong mga salita dahil kailangan nilang ligawan ang mga mamamayan [We should expect these comments because they want to court voters]," he added.

Both Robredo and Moreno have yet to bare their plans for the 2022 elections although their names have figured prominently in various pre-election presidential and vice presidential surveys. —KBK, GMA News

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