THE TASK force handling the coronavirus response should be replaced with a science-based council for better measures and programs, a non-government organization (NGO) said in support of a proposal made by a senatorial candidate.   

The Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (AGHAM), in a news release on Monday, said the “unscientific and militarist approach to address the pandemic has cost the country tens of thousands of lives, which could have been saved had the Duterte government listened to science.” 

Human rights lawyer and Senatorial candidate Jose Manuel Tadeo “Chel” I. Diokno said last week that the task force should be a team composed of people who “know about health, issues in science, and issues in information technology.” 

“Our enemy during the pandemic is not armed soldiers. We are fighting a virus,” Mr. Diokno said.  

AGHAM said there is still a window for reforms that could use the country’s science and technology sector to improve the response measures and mitigate the adverse impact of the pandemic. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago