ILOILO City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas on Tuesday slammed the Presidential spokesperson over remarks blaming the public for the surging coronavirus infections in their locality.
“Harry is okay, but sometimes, his mouth runs faster than his brain,” the mayor told OneNewsPH on Tuesday night, referring to Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr.
“Instead of trying to look for ways to help out, he is blaming us. What kind of person are you?” he said.
Mr. Trenas on Monday appealed to the national government to give Iloilo City more vaccines, and assist through additional health workers and medical equipment.
He said his city faced surging infections because pandemic officials have failed to provide them with more coronavirus vaccines. He lamented those vaccines were only poured in the capital region.
But Mr. Roque pinned the blame on local residents, saying the spike in cases in Iloilo City was likely caused by a decreased public compliance to health protocols.
On Wednesday, Mr. Trenas said Mr. Roque and vaccine czar Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. already “called” to inform him “that they are looking for solutions” for the city’s lack of vaccines and other pandemic-related issues.
“They also informed me that they are coming to Iloilo City early next week with the needed supplies and solutions,” he said in a Facebook post. “I will wait for them to come here so that I will know how these problems will be resolved.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Health’s (DoH) Western Visayas regional office said the reported coronavirus vaccines delivered to Iloilo City but not reflected in the local health office’s records were distributed directly to hospitals.
In a letter to Mr. Treñas dated June 22, the DoH regional director explained that 18,072 doses of Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines were sent to the different public and private hospitals across the city.
“Rest assured that we are in close coordination with the members of your local vaccine operations center through the Iloilo City Health Office and we are your partner for the efficient and effective delivery of COVID-19 vaccines in Iloilo City,” Regional Director Emilia P. Monicimpo said in the letter.
The mayor earlier wrote to Ms. Monicimpo asking for an explanation on the discrepancy in vaccine allocation as reported by the DoH head office at 84,224 doses and the city’s data at only 66,544.
As of June 22, DoH data show the region had 12,028 active cases out of the 61,194 recorded since the start of the pandemic. Of the total, 47,756 have recovered while 1,391 died.
Iloilo City, which serves as the regional center, had the highest active cases at 2,485, followed by Iloilo province with 2,383.
Bacolod City had 2,132 while Negros Occidental had 2,311. The rest of the provinces recorded the following active cases: Aklan, 1,187; Antique, 589; Capiz, 720; and Guimaras, 222. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza and Marifi S. Jara