The measles outbreak in Metro Manila could’ve been prevented if certain personalities didn’t mix politics with the controversy surrounding the Aquino administration’s controversial anti-dengue immunization program, Vice President Leni Robredo said Wednesday (February 6).
At the sidelines of an event at the University of the Philippines Diliman, Robredo noted that the Philippines was already close to eradicating measles when fear of immunization spread.
“Sana naiiwasan iyong mga irresponsible na mga comments saka accusation, na nakaka-erode ng tiwala ng tao sa kung ano iyong dapat nilang gawin, lalo na pagdating sa health ng mga bata,” she said.
Robredo blamed politics for making parents fearful about vaccinating their children.
“Sana iyong ganito kahalagang mga concerns, hindi dapat napupulitika, kasi kapag pinasukan ng pulitika, iyong tao naman karamihan, ang pinapaniwalaan iyong napapanood o naririnig. Kapag mayroong mga irresponsible na tao na binabahiran ng pagduda iyong effectivity ng isang bagay na matagal nang na-test, parang unfair ito sa ordinaryong pamilyang Pilipino,” she said.
The Vice President’s comment appears to be a dig at Public Attorney’s Office chairperson Persida Acosta, who has linked Dengvaxia to the deaths of over 100 children.
The PAO has filed close to three dozen cases against former and current government officials in connection with the controversy caused by Dengvaxia, which its manufacturer admitted to put children at risk of developing severe dengue if they received it prior to being infected with any type of dengue.
The DOH has declared a measles outbreak not just in NCR, but in Central Luzon amid the soaring number of children infected with the viral disease.
Asked if she was referring to Acosta, Robredo said she does not want to engage in a word war with anyone.
“Maraming mga tao iyong naging cause nito. Pero hindi kasi ito iyong panahon para magsisihan, eh. Hayaan na natin iyong mga authorities na sila iyong gumawa ng imbestigasyon kung sino iyong mga taong nagpa-erode ng tiwala ng tao dito, pero dapat mas hanapan natin ng strategy para mabawi iyong kasamaan na nangyari,” she said.