By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo has called on concerned parties to stop the finger-pointing over the measles outbreak in Metro Manila.
Robredo does not want a “word war” to get in the way of the government finding solutions to address the problem.
“For me, let us stop the finger-pointing, but move forward and find a solution. Many people were the cause of this,” Robredo told reporters in Filipino.
“This is not the time to blame each other. Let us allow the authorities to conduct the investigation on the people who eroded public trust in vaccines,” she added.
The Vice President made the call after Health Secretary Francisco Duque III had blamed Public Attorney’s Office Chief Persida Acosta and her “baseless claims and accusations” that led to the vaccine scare.
Data from the Epidemiology Bureau of the Department of Health showed that 196 measles cases have been recorded in the past month in Metro Manila that resulted from the decrease in immunization rate due to the Dengvaxia controversy.
Robredo said the measles outbreak in Metro Manila should not be politicized because public health is at stake.
“Sana naiiwasan iyong mga irresponsible na mga comments saka accusation, na nakaka-erode ng tiwala ng tao sa kung ano iyong dapat nilang gawin, lalo na pagdating sa health ng mga bata,” (I hope the we can avoid making irresponsible comments and accusations that erode the trust of the people on what they have to do, especially on their children’s health) she said.
“Kapag mayroong mga irresponsible na tao na binabahiran ng pagduda iyong effectivity ng isang bagay na matagal nang na-test, parang unfair ito sa ordinaryong pamilyang Pilipino,” (If there are irresponsible people who cast doubt on the effectivity of something that has long been tested, this is unfair to ordinary Filipino families) Robredo stressed.
Asked how her office can help address the outbreak, Robredo cited health education through her flagship anti-poverty program, Angat Buhay.
“Iyong pagtulong na ma-educate iyong mga tao, na huwag papaniwalaan basta-basta iyong mga paninira, huwag paniwalaan basta-basta iyong mga bagay na hindi naman totoo,” (Helping by educating people not to easily believe the smear campaign and the things that are not true) she said.
“Dapat pagtulung-tulungan ng lahat, para mabawi iyong kasamaan na dulot noong mga irresponsible na comments,” (Everyone should help each other to recover from the bad effects caused by irresponsible comments) Robredo pointed out.