Senator Dick Gordon pointed out that while President Rodrigo Duterte revealed some good plans in connection with education and healthcare in his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA), he did not present a comprehensive master plan for the country’s fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“He (PRRD) did say some good things. You know on education, distance learning that is something we should do very fast, on the accessibility of nurses and of course there are a lot of things… He did say a lot of good things,” Gordon said.

“But I think overall, I think he should’ve stuck to the message… He didn’t give a comprehensive master plan (against COVID) as I was hoping but I guess it would be the Bayanihan Law that will be the template for implementing it,” Gordon added.

“The President must be more firm in implementing a policy to ensure victory over COVID.”

Duterte said his administration plans to increase the number of schools with information and communications technology equipment to support blended learning. Government assets such as television frequencies will be utilized in distance learning to provide quality education to children. The President also promised that before he steps down in 2022, the country will have a public education network which will connect schools and offices of the Department of Education nationwide.

The veteran legislator said the President must be more firm in implementing a policy to ensure victory over COVID-19.

“He didn’t give a comprehensive master plan (against COVID) as I was hoping.”

“He’s got to be seen more firmly and he’s got to be seen making orders and making sure that everybody is moving together in the same direction. Are we going to have, for example, rules involving the wearing of masks in public? Local governments are doing it independently. How about the LSIs (locally stranded individuals)? A lot of LSIs have been tested but when they go to the LGUs (local government units), or go home to their provinces they can’t get in and they are being retested over and over again. There’s an awful lot on confusion in the policy implementation,” the seasoned lawmaker said.

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