Online Site for Keeping Track of COVID-19 Loans and Donations Suggested by VP

We'd want to see that, tbh.

ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Looks like Leni Robredo heard Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque when he quipped "I just wish the Vice President could actually offer solutions," early in June—she's gotten back to him with an eight-page letter full of recommendations. She sent the letter to Roque on June 30 but officially published it for everyone to see on Sunday, July 19. In it she touched on multiple COVID-19 issues, from transportation to data, and suggested an online site where everyone could keep track of the multiple loans and donations we've had since the pandemic began.

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Through these "online portals," folks can "regularly monitor the loans being taken out by the Philippines to augment our COVID-19 funds, and how and where these are being used." Donations, as well as "where they went, and how they are distributed," should also be up for tracking by the public. 

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Around U.S. $7.76 billion, or P386.6 billion, worth of loans have been accumulated by the Philippine government as of July 1 to fund the response to the COVID-19 pandemic; This is to be paid from 2023 to 2049, according to a GMA News report. The majority of these loans and grants come from the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Agence Française de Développement, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Aside from suggestions on how to handle the national budget, the Vice President also tackled issues of public health data, asked for an update on government programs, and also raised several points on transportation. The shift to modern jeepneys was brought up, saying that programs should be created to ease the burden of modernization from operators of traditional jeepneys. 

Vice President Robredo also reiterated that the public should be kept informed via a weekly report containing a summary of events and new targets for the coming days. 

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In response to the VP's letter, Roque stated "There’s nothing new in her recommendations." Although, the spokesperson did note that Robredo's suggestion to include local government officials in the Inter-Agency Task Force was very important. Robredo, meanwhile, has said that out of her letter's content, only the suggestion to remove "fresh" and "late" cases in the daily update of the Department of Health has been implemented. 

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