Local solution needed in Covid-19 response-Alvarez

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The national government’s handling of the health crisis brought by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) should have been more effective had it been given to local governments who can implement their own initiatives based on situations on the ground.

This was the observation of Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, of the 1st District of Davao del Norte, on the Duterte government’s Covid-19 response as the country awaits the arrival of the vaccine.

“I think there is a need for a paradigm shift,” the lawmaker told reporters during his visit here in connection to his “We Need A Leader 2022” campaign on Saturday, February 20,

This shift in policy making among government leaders, he said, must focus on giving local chief executives more hand in responding to the current health situation.

“The problem today is that the administration thinks national, so they look at Covid-19 as a national problem, and the solutions applied have also been national,” Alvarez said.

He said it would have been better if the Covid-19 threat is being treated as a local problem needing local solution.

Governors, mayors, and barangay chairs, he said, must make their own decision based on the gravity of the situation in their locality.

Alvarez cited as example the decision of the education department to implement the online learning, instead of in the classroom setting.

He said this approach is not practical as many areas in the country lack or do not have a reliable internet connection posing a problem for both teachers and students.

Besides, he added, since not all parts of the Philippines are considered as high-risk zones, face-to-face interaction between educators and learners could still be allowed.

“Health protocols can still be followed without sacrificing the learning of the children,” he said.

Another area that must be changed, he said, is the country’s economic structure where it’s “heavy on top but weak on bottom”.

This model, he said, is vulnerable and can impact the economy at the slightest movement.

What the country’s next president and police makers must do, Alvarez said, is to “distribute opportunities to the provinces and harness the competitive advantage of each region.

During his talk, Alvarez has reiterated that the electorate must choose a leader who is wise, has compassion for the people, has balls, and must be principled in next year’s elections.

Alvarez, the former House Speaker who has affiliated with the Partido Reporma Party after leaving the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan headed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte last year, said that today’s present leaders lack those qualities and it is his hope that the next one possesses those characteristics. Newsline.ph

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