Malacañang on Tuesday shrugged off a report of alleged misinformation by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, saying it is a new strain of coronavirus at that time that had not been identified in human before.
A report published by non-government organization Innovation for Change said Duterte has been perceived as “a major source of disinformation during the pandemic” when he consistently shared inaccurate information on Covid-19 on top of confusing pronouncements on his plans to respond to the health crisis.
“No one in the world [knew] about Covid-19 during the onset of the pandemic,” Andanar said in a Palace press briefing.
Despite Duterte’s pronouncements, Andanar said the government’s Covid-19 response has been a success.
“What is important is our success in balancing the health of the nation and the economy on the other hand. In the end, what is important are our milestones,” he added.
Andanar cited how the Philippines surpassed its 70 percent vaccination target of the eligible population before the end of Duterte’s term.
Data from the Department of Health (DOH) showed that 69 million Filipinos are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19 while nearly 14 million have received their booster shots.
With the reopening of more productive economic activities in full swing, he said the country’s economy grew by 8.3 percent in the first quarter of 2022.
Andanar earlier said a strong economy is Duterte’s best legacy.
“Iyan po ang good news at ito po ang mas mahalaga na tingnan natin (That is the good news and this is the important feat we have to look at),” he said.
Results of an OCTA Research survey conducted from March 5 to 10, 2022 found that 83 percent of respondents approve of the government’s Covid-19 response.
Forty-two percent said they “truly approve,” while 40 percent said they “somewhat approve.”
Two percent said they “truly disapprove” of the government’s Covid-19 response, while 4 percent said they “somewhat disapprove” and 11 percent cannot say whether they approve or disapprove.
Andanar expressed gratitude to Filipinos for supporting the government’s efforts to address the ongoing health crisis. (PNA)