Panelo to govt critics : Covid-19 not reason to stop gov’t projects

Panelo to govt critics : Covid-19 not reason to stop gov’t projects


Atty. Salvador Panelo made it simple for the government critics to understand - the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic should not bring government projects to a halt.

The Chief Presidential Legal Counsel defended the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Manila Bay “white sand” project telling critics who questioned its timing that it has been on the pipeline and has already been allotted with funds a year before the health crisis started.

Panelo said the government has allocated enough funds for the COVID-19 health crisis through the soon-to-be signed Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2 bill.

(photo credit to owner)

“Meron na ngang budget dati dun, meron din tayong budget sa Covid-19 (There has been a budget allocated for the project, there’s also a budget for Covid-19,” he said in an exclusive interview over PTV-4.

Panelo explains that all government agencies are doing their part in relation to their respective mandates.

Yung iba, siyempre kung ano ang trabaho nila ‘yun yung gagampanan nila (The other agencies, whatever their job is, that’s what they’ll perform),” he said.

The DENR is the lead agency in charge of the Manila Bay white sand project, is in charge of assuring the sustainability of the country’s natural resources.

Panelo, however, pointed out that it was also DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu the point person who was assigned by President Rodrigo Duterte to oversee the Covid-19 response in Cebu.

Sa madaling sabi, mag-mu-multitasking tayo (In other words, we have to multitask),” he said.

The public, he said, will have to live with Covid-19 by following minimum health and safety protocols until a vaccine is made available.

“Whether we like it or not, it’s there. Hindi pupuwedeng tayong kadenahan nito, maging sagabal sa ating ginagawa sa araw-araw. Hindi pupuwede yung takot mangibabaw sa’tin na hindi na tayo makagalaw (It should not chain us, it should not hinder our daily activities. We cannot allow fear to prevent us from doing anything),” he said.


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Report from PNA



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